Unuokeahi rounds out 2019 Hula Arts at Kilauea series

  • Photo courtesy of DINO MORROW PHOTOGRAPHY Unuokeahi, under the direction of kumu hula Kapua Kaʻauʻa, will perform Dec. 14 at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Volcano Art Center’s Hula Arts at Kilauea 2019 performance series concludes Saturday, Dec. 14, with a presentation by Unuokeahi under the direction of kumu hula Kapuaikapoliopele Ka‘au‘a. The performance begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes place in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. National park entrance fees apply.

On the winter solstice of 2016, Unuokeahi opened its doors under the tutelage of Ka‘au‘a, affectionately known as Kumu ‘Au‘a, who underwent the ‘uniki rites in December 2014, led by her kumu, Taupouri Tangaro of Unukupukupu. It is with this that she was bestowed the title of kumu hula. The Unuokeahi traditions stem from the Kanaka‘ole hula ‘aiha‘a traditions in Hilo.

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Halau Unuokeahi is made up of culturally sustainable members from various communities. Students who arrived at the halau come to learn traditional and cultural leadership through mo‘olelo, ritual and environmental sustainability. Many of the students of Unuokeahi reached or are reaching higher academic degrees, an essential piece for the journey of the halau.

Along with Halau Unuokeahi comes the Unuiti Hula Ensemble program from Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo Charter School in Keaukaha. Started by Taupouri in the early 2000s, Kumu ‘Au‘a continues this program throughout all 11th-grade levels. Hula ‘aiha‘a, mo‘olelo and ritual are taught through the Hawaiian language medium. It is a rigorous program, requiring students to create and manifest their hula world in every aspect. From making implements, gathering, fabrication and aina projects, to haku hula, these core learning accouterments are required of every student. Paired with academics, it makes it for a dynamic program.

This performance is presented in a one-of-a-kind outdoor setting at the kahua hula (platform) located near the VAC Gallery in the national park. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats.

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In conjunction with the performance, join kumu hula Moses Kaho‘oekele Crabbe on the lanai of the VAC Gallery as he shares “Na Mea Hula” (“All Things Hula”). These cultural demonstrations are hands-on and family friendly and occur from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Hula Arts at Kilauea performance days.

For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.

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