Parade will highlight Kauaian Days kick-off

Kaumuali’i, the last king of the Kingdom of Kaua’i, is the namesake of the state highway running between Lihu’e and Waimea.

Now Kaumuali’i is being honored with a parade set to begin Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. While Kamehameha Day parades have been held on Kaua’i for decades in honor of Kamehameha Day, Kaua’i’s own ruler has never been the focus of an annual celebration.

“King Kaumuali’i has never been acknowledged, that is a reason we are doing this,” said Edee Bandmann, the parade’s director.

“To give this parade its own uniqueness we are calling this ‘He Inoa No Kaumuali’i – In the name of Kaumuali’i,'” Bandmann said.

The parade is set to run for about one mile, from the Kukui Grove Pavilion to Kaua’i Community College. The parade is also honoring kupuna Auntie Sarah Kailikea of Nawiliwili. The royal court will feature Aletha Kaohi as Ali’i Nui Wahine, Nelson Ka’ai will portray Ali’i Nui Kaumuali’i and Wallis Punua will be marching as Humehume, Kaumuali’i’s son.

Kaohi was involved in coming up the with the concept for the parade and in bringing it about, Bandmann said.

Bandmann said plans for the parade and a ho’olaulea in honor of Kaumuali’i started to gel in August when plans for the upcoming Kauaian Days celebration were forming.

She said a unique aspect of the parade is the inclusion of Kaua’i-style pa’u horseback riders. While pa’u riders traditionally are adorned in the colors and leis of the various main islands of Hawai’i the featured pa’u riders in He Noa No Kaumuali’i will be identified with the moku of Kaua’i.

The land section known in the Hawaiian Language as moku is a major grouping of ahupua’a, or pie-shaped valley sections. On Kaua’i the traditional moku include Kona (most of West Kaua’i and the South Shore), Na Pali (Honopu-Hanakapi’ai), Halele’a (Ha’ena-Kalihiwai), Ko’olau (Namahana-Anahola) and Puna (East Kaua’i).

For the parade, riders have been selected to represent each Kaua’i moku, and special colors and leis will be used in dressing the pa’u riders to represent each moku.

Pa’u riders listed by the organizers include Nani Kamai from Puna, Nalani Palama from Kona, Helene Vierra representing Na Pali, Pua Chandler Baptista from Halele’a and Melissa Aki Sugai from Ko’olau.

– TGI Editor Chris Cook can be reached at mailto:ccook@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 227).

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