Tuesday, April 24, 2012

'Auana Competition - 2012 Merrie Monarch Festival

'Auana Competition - 2012 Merrie Monarch Festival

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - Hilo, Hawaii

The King and Queen watched the dancing from their thrones

This is the final night of the hula dancing part of the festival.  The competition ran until about 11:30PM with the results not being announced until well after Midnight.  We did not stay that late, preferring to read all about it in the Star Advertiser when we arrived  home.

Traveler Al and Sherb

Our friend, Jan

The Page and Herald enter before the King and Queen and their standard bearers.

The Royal Couple 

The dances on this final night of the Merrie Monarch Festival are in the " 'Auana " style which allows more experimentation and variety in costume and dance.  The 'Auana mele (songs) can tell stories about events, feelings or describe places in Hawaii.

Overall Winners

Halau I Ka Weiku took the Overall First Place for the Festival for both styles of dance and 'Auana First Place honors for Kane.

This mele (song) tells of a visit to a lavender farm.

Here the dancers show the watering of the lavender at the farm.

The ulili (gourds) are used as a percussive instrument.

Wahine - Overall Honors

Halau o ke 'A'ali'i Ku Makani - First overall honors - Wahine

5th place in 'Auana - wahine

Halau Mohala 'Ilima - 2nd Overall Honors - Wahine

First honors in Wahine 'Auana

Halau I Ka Weikiu - 3rd Place Wahine Overall, 2nd Honors in Wahine 'Auana

The blue gowns played havoc with the color controls on my Canon - causing the skin tones to go off towards the orange - color corrected as far as it would go!

Ka La 'Onohi Malo Ha'eha'e Helau - 3rd place honors in 'Auana

Halau Ka Lei Moihana o Leina'ala - 4th Place Wahine 'Auana

Halau Ka Lei Moihana o Leina'ala - 4th Place Wahine 'Auana

'Auana Honors - Kane (Men)

Halau Kawaili'ula, 2nd place in Kane 'Auana - 2nd place honors in Kane Overall

This mele is a procreation song, or " ma'i " to perpetuate a bloodline. In this case for a son of King Kamehameha.

The dance motions and tempo of the mele are very erotic in nature.

Halau Ka Leo o Laka I Ka Hinia o Ka La - 3rd place - Kane 'Auana

The mele depicts the activities of the "Paniolo" or Hawaiian cowboys at a rodeo event.

Helau Kekuaokala'auala'a iliahi - 4th place honors for 'Auana Kane

The youngest competitor at the Festival

The youngest dancer - 13 years old.

Photos of other groups in the 'Auana Competition

A helau from Oakland, California

This helau is from Oahu, Hilo on Hawaii and from San Mateo, California

A helau from Las Vegas, Nevada

A helau from Oakland, California

Helau from Los Angeles, California

Once again the blue gowns caused the Canon to render flesh tones in almost a bright orange!  This and the next photo have been severely color corrected, but are still not rendered in true color.


Next - 4 days of sightseeing on the Big Island of Hawaii including the top of Moana Kea, the largest mountain on earth by volume.

Please click the colored link to view my other blog about my more distant journeys - Travler Al's Wanderings

I take the photos using available light on a Canon G11 digital camera on a monopod for steadiness.  I am a "shakey Jake!"

Please give me photo credits if you use or share my photos for non-commercial use. I would like to be notified of how and where you are using them. 

Contact me at traveleral@aol.com should you need to purchase my photos for commercial use.  Larger digital files of the photos are available.

I encourage you to share this blog with your family and friends.

Your comments and criticisms are my reward for the effort to do this blog – they are appreciated.


  1. To Michael in South Africa - I hope you enjoyed my photos from this year's Merrie Monarch Festival. Your comment helped keep me going to make the effort to do the pages. Many thanks,

    Traveler Al

  2. Al, would you kindly email me at tonymiz@me.com, we would like to post one of your photos on our facebook page. Mahalo (i can also be reached at 808.333.6936)


Your comments and criticism are appreciated. Thank you !