Eo e Emalani i Alaka’i
Please call (808) 335-9975 ext. 0 for event info.
Since its inception in 1988, Eo e Emalani i Alaka’i (also called the Emalani Festival) has quietly become one of the most authentic and powerful Hawaiian cultural experiences in the State.
Each year,kumu hula (hula masters) and their dancers help to create an event that has touched thousands, many of whom return annually to participate.
Emalani 2014 festival date is October 11.
The outdoor event, held annually on the second Saturday in October, The Emalani Festival commemorates the 1871 journey ofHawaii’s beloved Queen Emma to these upland forests. By focusing each year on a diferent aspect of the Queen’s inspiring legacy as a humanitarian leader, the Emalani Festival affords participants and audience an opportunity to reflect on values of a great leader who took the land to heart.
Mahalo to nā hālau that honor Emalani
The Eō e Emalani i Alaka‘i Festival began with a family story and a mountain hike. Kama’aina John Plews, long-time Hui o Laka member and local raconteur-historian, took Marsha Erickson on a forest walk off Camp 10 Road in the winter of 1987. He shared a view point his mother said was called Pohaku Hula, “hula stone.” Family tradition had it that Queen Emma had stopped here in 1871, where she told stories and where her friends danced upon a large flat rock, big enough to hold a number of dancers, it was said. The rock is gone, perhaps pushed over the edge during WWII road work, Plews said, but the view the Queen must have had as they settled on this little ridge was there.
Aunty Roselle Bailey The forest walk and John Plews’ story inspired Erickson to talk to Roselle Keli’ihonipua Bailey, kumu hula and for many years a Hui o Laka trustee. Since 1973, Roselle had been gathering a number of hālau each October to mālama the cultural sites of Keahualaka and Kauluapaoa at Ke’e. And so it was that Roselle’s students, along with the hālau of Kekauilani Kalama, Puluelo Park, Aunty Lani Kalamaand Hannah Kia Kaneakua-Basso gathered for the first time in 1988 at Kōke’e to recall Queen Emma’s mountain journey.
A quarter of a century later, the ‘ohana and students of these women, joined by other hālau over the years, return each October to honor the legacy of Queen Emma.
The heart of Eō e Emalani i Alaka’i are the hālau that offer gifts of ‘oli and hula for Queen Emma.
Hui o Laka is honored to welcome the return of the following hālau and their kumu hula: Ka ‘Imi Na’auao o Hawai’i Nei Institute (Roselle Keli‘ihoinpua Bailey), Hālau ‘O Kia (Hannah Kia Kaneakua-Basso), Hālau Ha’a Hula ‘o Kekau’ilani Na Pua Hala O Kailua (Charlani Kalama), Nā Hula O Puamana (Pumehana Cullen, Kapualani McElroy, Leimomi Kiyono, Malaia Helela), Hālau Na Wainohia (Tony Conjugation), Aunty Puluelo Park
‘Aha Pūlama Pā’ū Holo Lio (Henry DeRamos, Maile Sale), Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima (Victoria Holt-Takamine), Kula Aupuni Ni’ihau A Kahelelani Aloha, Ka Pā Kānaenae O Kaua’i Iki (Kauai Iki), Ka Ipu Ha’a O Kekauilani Na Pua Hala O Kau’ai and KanuikaponoCharter School (Puna Kalama Dawson), Hui Hula O Kehaulani (Beverly Kauanui), Hālau Hula Na Lei Kupua O Kaua’i (Susan Pa‘inui Floyd), and Na Pua O Kamaile (Sabra Kauka).
This commemorative historical event began and continues with the kōkua and aloha of nā poe hula and the community. In recent years, including 2013, it has received support from Hawai‘i Tourism Authority-County of Kaua‘i as well as from local businesses and many volunteers. Mahalo nui o all!
Live Hawaiian music, along with historical displays, begin at 10 am and at 12 noon, “Queen Emma” enters Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow on horseback, led by her guide Kaluahi, represented by a local cowboy. Offering of dance are made by hula halau from across Hawaii. Hula groups from Europe and Japan have also journeyed to Kaua‘i to participate.