Birthplace of Hula
By Melissa Kelsey
The chants of the Kukuna O Kala hula halau spoke the names of the winds and people of the past recorded in the thunderous dances at Ka Hula Piko.
A ho`olaule`a at Papohaku Beach Park, last Saturday’s festival was an occasion to enjoy music and the company of family and friends. Serving as a memorial to the past, it honored the late kumu hula John Kaimikaua, who founded the annual event in 1991.
“John Kaimikaua was a caretaker of these chants and dances that are a recorded history of Molokai,” said Kukuna O Kala kupuna Aunty Vanda Hanakahi.
Aunty Vanda explained that hula was born on Molokai. A Molokai woman named Laka took the art of hula to the other Hawaiian Islands.
Molokai visitors coming from as far as Germany and Japan came to watch the myriad of hula dancers and musicians. Vendors sold jewelry, artwork, Hawaiian drums, quilts and other native Hawaiian crafts. Event attendees could get a lomi lomi massage and try their hand at lei making.
“Ka Hula Piko is unique to Molokai,” said Penny Martin, one of the organizers of the lei-making activity. “It is another way we celebrate our culture and bring everyone together.”