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Oahu halau earns 4 awards at Maui contest

The kupuna of Maui’s Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua placed first during the 14th annual Ku Mai Ka Hula Competition on Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Maui Arts & Cultural Center photo

The Maui News

Hui Ho’oulu Aloha won four awards at the 14th annual Ku Mai Ka Hula Competition on Saturday, the most of any halau at the annual competition put on by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Under the direction of kumu hula Pomaika’i Krueger, Hui Ho’oulu Aloha of Haleiwa, Oahu, earned first place in both the kane group ‘auana (modern dance) and kane group kahiko (ancient dance) categories. The halau also produced this year’s Mr. Hula Maui, Brent Schwenke II.

Hui Ho’oulu Aloha also received the Maui Nui Award, which recognizes the halau that participated fully in all aspects of the competition and tried to be involved in as many divisions as possible.

Meanwhile, Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua of Wailuku, under the direction of kumu hula Kamaka Kukona, earned first place in the kupuna category and two other awards — the Leianaikaroselaniomaui Award, which recognizes the halau that exhibits overall excellence in hula, and the ‘Olelo Makuahine Award, recognizing the halau that exhibits excellence in Hawaiian language use by ho’opa’a (accompanist) and musician.

Another Maui group, Halau Manaiakalani of Kahului, won the Palikumaikalewalani Oli Award, which recognizes the halau that exhibits excellence in oli. The halau, under the direction of kumu hula Kapono and Kanoenani Kamaunu, also produced this year’s Ms. Hula Maui, Teressa Deneen Welolani Noury.

A total of 10 halau from Maui, Oahu, Japan and California participated in this year’s competition. The full results are as follows:

• Ms. Hula Maui: Teressa Deneen Welolani Noury, Halau Manaiakalani, Kahului, kumu hula Kapono and Kanoenani Kamaunu, first; Princess Jana Sumibcay, Halau Hula Olana, Aiea, Oahu, kumu hula Shelsea Olana Ai and Olana Ai, second.

• Mr. Hula Maui: Brent Schwenke II, Hui Ho’oulu Aloha, Haleiwa, Oahu, kumu hula Pomaika’i Krueger.

• Wahine Group Kahiko: Hula Halau ‘O Leilani, Chigasaki-City, Kanagawa-ken, Japan, kumu hula Mihoko Ogawa, first; Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, Wailuku, kumu hula Kahulu Maluo-Pearson, second.

• Wahine Group ‘Auana: Hula Halau ‘O Leilani, Chigasaki-City, Kanagawa-ken, Japan, kumu hula Mihoko Ogawa, first; Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, Wailuku, kumu hula Kahulu Maluo-Pearson, second.

• Kupuna: Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua, Wailuku, kumu hula Kamaka Kukona, first; Halau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua, Kyoto, Tokyo, Japan, kumu hula Rich Pedrina, second; Ka Ua Tuahine, Berkeley, Calif., kumu hula Mahealani Uchiyama, third.

• Kane Group ‘Auana: Hui Ho’oulu Aloha, Haleiwa, Oahu, kumu hula Pomaika’i Krueger, first.

• Kane Group Kahiko: Hui Ho’oulu Aloha, Haleiwa, Oahu, kumu hula Pomaika’i Krueger, first.

• Palikumaikalewalani Oli Award: Halau Manaiakalani.

• Maui Nui Award: Hui Ho’oulu Aloha.

• Leianaikaroselaniomaui Award: Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua.

• The ‘Olelo Makuahine Award: Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua.

The judges were kumu hula ‘Iwalani Kalima, Kapono’ai kaulikeikeao Molitau, Cody Kapueola’akeanui Pata and Ulalia Woodside.

Ku Mai Ka Hula is presented annually by the MACC in association with Kauahea Inc., a nonprofit organization founded by Hokulani Holt to support Hawaiian arts and culture.