The Relay For Life, an annual fundraiser organised by the American Cancer Society, has evolved into a global phenomenon with a Kaua’i foothold. It is an all-embracing event that allows anyone and everyone to play a part in honouring and remembering loved ones who have passed on from cancer, to celebrate those who have experienced healing from cancer, and also to raise funds and public awareness for the continuing fight against cancer. The Relay is also, last but most definitely not least, about giving thanks to and for those who are and who have been the loving caretakers of cancer sufferers.
The evening of August 16 saw participants gathering at the North Shore in the falling dusk, in preparation for the 12-hour relay and its accompanying festivities. At 6pm, Kumu Lei officially opened the event with oli and hula. Mayor Bernard Carvalho then took the stage and gave an encouraging talk to all who were present, and then the all-night celebration continued with hula from our halau, as well as gifts and showcases by Tahitian dancers, taiko drummers, fire dancers and various musical groups. The party lasted all night and finally wrapped at 6am the next morning (August 17).
We are very glad to have had the opportunity to contribute to the global effort for life and hope against cancer, especially since we could do it together with the community that we are a part of here on Kaua’i. Mahalo Ke Akua for yet another chance to be Your lights in this world!
At a recent hands-on workshop, the Kapaa papa keiki had the opportunity to learn how to make what would be their first personal hula implement – an ipu.
We met at Kapaa Beach, where this special outdoor class began with the keiki bringing their ipu out for pikai (cleansing) in the ocean. We started off with a time of pule (prayer), asking Ke Akua to bless our time, and then the keiki began cleaning their ipu with one (sand) and kai (ocean water).
After all the ipu were clean, we headed up to Kumu Lei’s house, where with some help from their parents the keiki cut the tops off from their ipu and got round to cleaning the insides of gourds. We did some fine sanding to smoothen out the cuts, too, before inserting the kaula (rope) into the little puka drilled into the sides of the ipu. The final touch was to rub down the implements with kukui oil.
It was a job well done and after all that work, we gratefully sat down together to enjoy some tasty mea ‘ai that the parents had brought along to share. It was a wonderful time for everyone. Mahalo Ke Akua!
Readers and site visitors might be interested to know that apart from the Singapore school, Halau Ka Lei Kukui Hi’ilani also has another overseas extension in Hiroshima, Japan. This group of dedicated and passionate ladies, known as Ka Pa Hula Ka Lei Kupukupu Hi’ilani, is led by Alaka’i Tamura Miwako under Kumu Lei’s direction. Alaka’i Miwako comes to Kaua’i regularly to study hula with Kumu Lei.
On 13 July, Alaka’i Miwako and her ladies performed at an event on Oshima Island in Yamaguchi Prefecture.