In keeping with the vision of King David Kalakaua, kumu hula Blaine Kamalani Kia presents the 12th annual hula retreat, E Pili Kakou I Ho‘okahi Lahui Feb. 26 to 28 at the Hilton Kaua‘i Beach Resort.
Legend tells of the coming of the first pahu, sacred drum, to Hawai‘i when Mo‘ikeha, aged king of Kaua‘i, sent his Hawaiian-born son, Kila to retrieve it. Kila set forth from Wailua for the island of Ra‘iatea to find and bring back the king’s elder son La‘amaikahiki. Kila was told that he would know La‘amaikahiki by the sound of the great sacred drum, Hawea, which Mo‘ikeha had left behind with his eldest son when he came to Kaua‘i. Kila returned to his father with La‘amaikahiki.
Centuries later the pulse of the pahu is still heard on these islands and hula flourishes, saved from near-extinction by beloved King David Kalakaua, the “merrie monarch.”
Kumu hula Kamalani Kia brought his own unique vision to life in the form of this hula retreat 12 years ago. E Pili Kakou I Ho‘okahi Lahui means “Let’s Get Together As One Body of People” and enlists his halau on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i to share what they have been given through hula and to help return hula to the realm of the spiritual.
E Pili Kakou I Ho‘okahi Lahui beckons to participants from all over the world and continues its mission to bring hula practitioners from all walks of life together as one body of people.
Sharing their knowledge and presenting workshops in hula kahiko, hula ‘auana, ‘oli and ka wa kahiko will be some of Hawai‘i’s most distinguished kumu, as well as up and coming kumu of the next generation.
Scheduled at press time are Sonny Ching (O‘ahu), Leialoha Amina (Kohala, Hawai‘i), Aunty Paulette Kahalepuna (O‘ahu), Ed Collier “2009 Honoree” (O‘ahu), Pohai Souza (O‘ahu), Healani Youn (Kaua‘i), Michael Kop (guest presenter, O‘ahu), Kealoha Kalama (O‘ahu), Charles Kaupu (Maui), Keala Ching (Kona), Wallis Punua (Kaua‘i), Auntie Ku‘ulei Punua “2010 Honoree,” Blaine Kamalani Kia (founder/director, O‘ahu) and special guests. The event will also feature arts, crafts and music.
As the sacred pahu sounds at the opening ceremonies of I Pili Kakou I Ho‘okahi Lahui, it will proudly embrace the river of knowledge from the ancestors and the modern day world to continue resounding with the living echo of Hawea. And with it will beat the heartbeat of the ancients and we will all come together as one in the hula.
A one day retreat is $100 or a two- day retreat for $175. To register visit epilikakou.com.