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December 2006

Hawai`i News


First Annual International Hula Competition on Hawai`i Island Includes Hālau from Japan

By Rochelle delaCruz

Photo from MOKIF

Hālau O Kekuhi from Hilo, Hawai`i, second place winners at Moku O Keawe Festival

The first Moku O Keawe International Festival was held in November at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort on the Kohala Coast of Hawai`i island. The four-day event was sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a nonprofit group “to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through education and enriching the practice and development of hula and associated arts.” While there are other hula competitions such as the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition in Hilo in April, Moku O Keawe includes non-Hawaiian hālau and offers educational workshops.

Margo Mau Bunnett, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation said, “…The one thing about this festival is that not only hula, [but] we also would like to teach locals as well as visitors about this place where we live. A great example was the lei-making (wili or haku) taught by Naea. He started by teaching all the students a chant before the actual lei-making process. This year we were fortunate to have Kumu Charles Kaupu to assist Naea with the chanting to educate the students so that they understand that these ferns, flowers and items they were using are all part of our natural surroundings that we should thank our ancestors (and gods) for letting us use them…”

Bunnett continues, “The four nights of competition featured the opening night Concert and Ceremony, Kupuna Competition, Kahiko Competition and `Auana Competition. The judges – Sonny Ching, Keala Ching, Charles Kaupu and Haouli Akaka – all did oli (chants) to kick off each evening’s festivities in order to educate the audience that they were blessing, welcoming and remembering their kupuna.”

There were a total of five hālau from Japan and Hawai`i island in the competition and two including one from Japan competing in the Kupuna event. The Sunday Ho`ike also featured three keiki hula performances. Because it was the first time for this festival, audiences were small but grew with each night of the competition. By Saturday’s `auana event where the winners were announced, there were almost 300 in attendance.

Results of the competition were: 1st place – Nā Lei O Kaholokū (Hawai`i island); 2nd place – Hālau O Kekuhi (Hawai`i island) and 3rd place – Ka Hula O Hawai`i (Japan). The scoring was based on overall performance but there were no awards given for first, second or third in kahiko and `auana. The first place winner Nā Lei O Kaholokū (Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina) also won overall in this year’s Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, and second place Hālau O Kekuhi (Kumu Hula Nalani Kanaka`ole and Pualani Kanaka`ole Kanahele) competed for the first time in 25 years.

CEO Bunnett is happy with this year’s event and looking ahead. “I am hoping that next year we can truly get the interest of our community as well as the visitors to see the festival and all that we have to offer.” For more information, go to www.mokuokeawe.org

Photo from MOKIF
Nā Lei O Kaholokū from Kohala, Hawai`i, first place winners in the Moku O Keawe International Hula Competition at Waikoloa, Hawai`i.


The Nine Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawai`i

By NWHIT Staff  

A list of the nine most endangered historic sites in Hawai`i was released in November by the Historic Hawai`i Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Division. According to Peter Young, Department of Land and Natural Resources chairman, the compilation “represents the history of our community and includes sites that are threatened by, among other things, neglect, insufficient funding, and development.” The list includes estates, buildings, monuments, parks and for the first time, an entire community.

In 1922, James Dole bought the island of Lāna`i and created the plantation town he named Lāna`i City. The island’s nickname is The Pineapple Island because for 70 years, life on the island revolved around pineapple crops. But that ended in 1992 when the last pineapple was harvested and the company that owns 98% of the island, Castle and Cook, switched to tourism and real estate. With nothing else to sustain it, there are concerns that the town’s old and historic buildings will be demolished in the name of “development.” (On a Northwest note, Microsoft’s Bill Gates got married on Lāna`i in 1994 and was able to close off the island to anyone not invited to the wedding by buying up all transportation into Lāna`i for several days. Maybe Gates can purchase the island now and donate it to the Hawaiians.)

The other eight endangered sites are:

  • the Walker Estate in Nu`uanu, O`ahu built in 1905 by the president of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association and now threatened with demolition;
  • recreational cabins in Kōke`e State Park on Kaua`i with expiring leases;
  • Queen’s Theater in Kaimukī, O`ahu;
  • Sanju Pagoda Honolulu Memorial Park in Nu`uanu, O`ahu, with the largest pagoda in the world;
  • the plantation manager’s mansion in `Ewa Plantation Villages, O`ahu;
  • the Gulick-Powell house in Waimea, Kaua`i, a two-story coral limestone house built in 1828;
  • Pu`unēnē Congregational Church in Pu`unēnē, Maui , one of the first Japanese Christian churches and built in 1910;
  • the Mapulehu Glass House in Mapulehu, Molokai, built in 1930 to quarantine experimental strains of sugar cane.

The last six on the list are falling into disrepair. One of the ironies is that even though several—the Walker Estate and the `Ewa plantation manager’s mansion—are already on the National Register of Historical Places, this protects them neither from neglect nor demolition if owned privately.

For more information: www.historichawaii.org


A Season Worth Waiting For
UH Football Team Jumps Into National Spotlight

By Duane Shimogawa

The air was warm. The mood was just right. The glow of the UH football team at the beginning of the season was as bright as a Waikiki Friday night. But the only thing missing was the hype. Yes, they returned a lot of starters from the previous season, but no one really knew how good they would become. Except maybe for Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl executive director Jim Donovan. I spoke with the "Jovial Giant" and former Warrior at the team's practice facility, just a few weeks before the season opener against Alabama.

"I've been around UH football for over 30 years and I've never seen a better team from top to bottom than this team," he said. They can do some special things this season." And the Warriors followed Donovan's words, just as if they heard it through the loudspeaker at Aloha Stadium.

After that close defeat to the Crimson Tide in the season opener, the Warriors ran off an impeccable win streak which would put them at the top of the school's history books and into the nation's top 25. They punched a ticket to the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl with ease. The only question posed by the team was if they would draw a tough opponent to play in the contest.

"When UH plays in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl, it's a whole lot better for the state, its fans and the team," Donovan said. "What better place to be during the cold winter than in Hawai`i 's sunshine?"
And the Warriors took full advantage of the national spotlight they haven't basked in since the days of Timmy Chang and Chad Owens.

UH coach June Jones is a man of few words and syllables, but when I talked with him after a morning practice session at the beginning of the season, he said that he was excited to see how this talented group of players would respond to each other. "We've definitely got the pieces of the puzzle in place and now we just have to learn to work together as a team," he said. "We'll be tested early, but I hope we respond well after those first few games."

Jones would not be alone in his excitement of the upcoming season.

"I want everyone in the state to wake up on Saturday mornings thinking about nothing other than UH football," Warrior quarterback Colt Brennan said. "We want to bring the excitement back. We want everyone to be a part of this."

Brennan, who is not considered by many as one of the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy, has put up Heisman-like numbers throughout the season, leading the No. 1 offense in the country. But even if he doesn't win the award that goes to the land's top player, he'll still be a big part of one of the best seasons for UH football. It's hard enough getting recognition because you're the team farthest away from the closest "real" interstate highway.

UH football isn't usually the topic of discussion during most college football shows, but the newest version of the Warrior football squad has the islands in a buzz. When UH football prospers, the entire state benefits in some way, shape or form. Because we lack a professional team in the state, UH athletics becomes our professional squads. Besides Wahine volleyball, UH football probably has the biggest fan base for sports in the islands.

And for me, it's a little tougher following the Warriors, a few thousand miles away, but I still manage to use the magic of electronics to check out how they're doing. It's a connection that every other person feels when they leave the islands. UH football is in their blood and it especially gives you something to smile and brag about when the team is putting up good performances.

The hype might have not been there at the start, but at least it made its way to the team as the season strolled along. And to Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl executive director Jim Donovan's delight, his early observation turned out to be a true prediction, much to the contentment of everyone who's a fan of UH football.

Duane Shimogawa was born and raised on Kaua`i and currently resides in Yakima , Washington where he is a news reporter/photographer for KNDO-TV. After graduating from Central Washington University with a degree in broadcast journalism, he worked on Kaua`i as a radio announcer and the sports editor for The Garden Island newspaper before heading back to Washington state.


More Money for the Marathon

By NWHIT Staff


The 34th annual Honolulu Marathon takes place on December 10th and this year, the prize money has doubled. Last year’s first-place winner received $15,000 but this year, the first to cross the finish line will be awarded $40,000. The second to fifth place winners will double their money as the total purse increases from $65,000 to $150,000.

In the men’s division, runners from Kenya lead the winners with 16 first place prizes and for the women, runners from countries in the former Soviet Republic have won 9 times in the last 10 years.

The first Honolulu Marathon took place in 1974 with 167 runners. Prize money was first offered in 1985, when $2000 went to the first place winner. This year, there are over 22,000 participants from all over the world and the first five winners will go home much richer.


2006 Ka Palapala Po`okela Book Awards

Just in time for the holidays are the 2006 Ka Palapala Po`okela book awards, with the Samuel M. Kamakau Award for the Hawai`i Book of the Year to Hawai`i, a Sense of Place: Island Interior Design by Mary Philpotts McGrath and Kaui Philopotts.

Below is a list of some of the books published in 2006 recognized as the best by the publishers association.

Children’s Hawaiian Culture: Akua Hawai`i: Hawaiian Gods and their Stories by Kimo Armitage, illustrated by Solomon Enos (Bishop Museum Press)

Children’s Illustrative or Photographic: The Hungry Pua`a and the Sweet Sweet Potato by Leonard Villanueva (BeachHouse Publishing)

Children’s Books: My Dog Has Flies: Poetry for Hawai`i’s Kids, Sue Cowing, illustrated by Jon Murakami (BeachHouse Publishing)

Literature: Folks you Meet in Longs and Other Stories by Lee Cataluna (Bamboo Ridge Press)

Hawaiian Culture: Daughters of Haumea: Women of Ancient Hawai`i, by Lucia Tarallo Jensen and Natalia Mahina Jensen (Pueo Press/Anima Gemella)

Special Interest: Da Kine Dictionary compiled by Lee A. Tonouchi (Bess Press)

Cookbooks: Homemade Gifts of Sweets & Treats by Muriel Miura (Mutual Publishing)

Natural Science: Growing Hawai`i’s Native Plants by Kerin E. Lilleng-Rosenberger (Mutual Publishing)

Text or Reference: Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific by John E. Randall (University of Hawai`i Press)

Nonfiction : Na Lani Kaumaka: Daughters of Hawai`i, A Century of Historic Preservation by Barbara Del Piano (Daughters of Hawai`i)


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