First hula competition at Merrie Monarch Festival? 1967.

Fifth Hula Festival Scheduled Friday

The Fifth Annual Hula Festival, sponsored by the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled Friday at 7:30 p.m., at Hilo Civic Auditorium.

The Hula Pageant, under the direction of Mrs. Piilani Nahiwa, will be held in conjunction with the Merry Monarch Festival and Pageant.

Eight Hilo Hula studios are slated to participate in the festival.

They include:

Nalani’s Hula Studio, under the direction of Edith Kanakaole; George Naope’s Hula Studio; Phoebe Makaio’s Hula Maids; Victoria Wright’s Hula Studio of Pahoa; Tita Beamer Solomon’s Studio; Piilani’s Hula Studio, under the direction of Mrs. Piilani Nahiwa; Dot’s Dance Studio, under the direction of Mrs. Dorothy Horita; and Lani Wong’s Hula Studio.

“Lei of Memories” has been selected as the theme of the pageant. The pageant will be divided into two parts.

Part one will present dance of the elements depicting wind, rain, water, and fire. In old Hawaii, the Hawaiians expressed their feelings by means of the hula. The hula is most typically an Hawaiian expression of living. It interprets the people’s joys and sorrows, their lovemaking, their jealousies and family spats, and reconciliations.

It provides an outlet for the worship of beauty and things divine. The hula started because the language of the Hawaiians before the entry of the white man, was a spoken one, handed down by word of mouth. History was preserved by bards and chanters of the king, who found another form of expression in what was first the sacred hula. It could be used as a form of worship, a means to preserve royal genealogies, express joy at birth or sorrow at death.

Part two will present songs and dances of modern Hawaii expressing the voice of Hawaii today intermingling the thoughts of yesterday. They sing of the beauty that abounds their homes, the flowers, their Hawaii, a beautiful woman, their trials and tribulations. The messages are the same.

[It seems that this was not a competition, but an exhibition.] #missingmerriemonarch

(Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 4/11/1967, p. 8)


Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Volume XXXXV, Number 100, Page 8. April 11, 1967.


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