Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School’s students turned in amazing performances at the Malia Craver Hula Competition, sweeping many awards categories. The men’s and women’s numbers took years of training to lay the foundation of their cultural backgrounds. Then they took a couple of months to prepare for competition it. All of that lead up to a few brief minutes to convey their passion and conviction. Yet the depth of their cultural knowledge, preparation, and connection to the subjects of their mele shone through, and the judges recognized them with numerous awards.
The kāne number honored Makaliʻi navigator Clay Bertelmann, and the young kāne brought to bear the year-long work they had done learning voyaging and then sailing from Oʻahu to Hawaiʻi Island. The wahine number honored the kiaʻi mauna, who fought to stop the TMT from being built upon Mauna Kea, and the mele they danced was written by their kumu Kawika Mersberg. Witness the power of connection and knowledge expressed through hula.