Hula O Na Keiki

Another Hula O Na Keiki competition has quickly come and gone.

As usual we had a wonderful time. If I’m correct, we have participated every year for the last 15 years….(and Na Kani O Hula will be 16 years old this coming summer).
In addition to the entertainment and craft fair during the day, there are different workshops and demonstrations. Besides doing our small hula instruments workshops, I was able to take a workshop from weaver Colleen Kapu who taught me how to make this lauhala watch band. The black is lauhala from Kauai that had been buried for a very long time to obtain the coloring. Mahalo Colleen!I didn’t have my camera the first two days but luckily my sister brought it over and I was able to get some pictures of Sunday.
This year, since the ipu were available, we did an ipu heke workshop for some of the keiki contestants after the competition. In the picture above, the dirty ipu in the foreground are are what they started with.

First, take ipu down to the beach and scrub clean with ocean water. The kids always LOVE this part. My cousin TJ (who won first place in the keiki kane division) was soaked head to toe but returned with clean ipu and a big smile on his face. Perfect day for this job.
Next step after cutting them open is to clean out the insides. “Let me see your ipu…..are you sure it’s clean?”



The heke (top gourd) are attached to the ‘olo (bottom gourd). These days we’re fortunate to have a wonderful variety of glues available to us. Before time, the heke and ‘olo were sewn together then sap was used as filler.

Here Kent and Keoni are making ties.

Some students make their kaula from hau.

Lastly, the ipu were shined with kukui.

Some of the beautiful ipu heke. Kumu Emery Aceret and haumana. Mahalo for the ono Hilo goodies and SigZane pareu!!

Ho’opi’i ohana. The little guy, Kamaka, was just the cutest thing making his ipu heke. He was so excited, worked so hard and patiently, and was so proud of his ipu heke. Congratulations to sister Meleana who placed 3rd in her hula division.

This ipu heke workshop gave us much pleasure!

Who’s this guy?
None other than our friend Randy J Braun stopped by to snap some shots. He’s there every year to take hula portraits of the winners.
And speaking of winners…..big congratulations goes out to na kumu Haunani and ‘Iliahi Paredes and their students Wade Choda-Kowalski Jr. and Kelsey Galago for both taking top overall honors.