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Living the spirit of May Day

When kumu hula Kapu Kinimaka Alquiza said she was going to do a May Day celebration, no one had a hint of the coming extravaganza.

Saturday, the halau, Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani, that holds practices and classes at the shopping center, pulled out all the stops with its May Day celebration that featured all of the halau’s students.

Members of the May Day court, fully detailed with everything from chanters to island princesses with their individual kahili bearers, came from schools around the island and garbed in the traditional wear of the early 1900s.

“My grandson was the kahili bearer for Kaho‘olawe,” said Ku‘ulei Takashima. “I told him he was half-naked. He looked at me and smiled, ‘Yeah, half-naked.’”

The entire halau, including parents and halau friends, many of them being from generations past, lent their mana‘o in addressing all of the details, including decorating the stage to effectively mask the protective railings.

Moms sat outside the halau practice hall working on kahili, lei and other adornments to dress both the court as well as dancers in the spirit of May Day celebrations.

A volunteer with the Kaua‘i Ocean Discovery, also a member of the Foster Grandparents program, took in everything taking place, silently smiling with approval while dining on her box lunch and remembering the excitement of May Days past.

“Thank you for allowing us to perpetuate our culture,” the announcer said as the day unfolded with a variety of hula and protocol ending with a Polynesian climax of Maori and Tahitian dances to an overflow audience that was transported to the days of May Day when time did not matter.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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