Ori Uvira takes top honors at Heiva I Kauai

KAPAA — The saga of land, greed and blindness on Kauai created a powerful group presentation at the Heiva i Kauai.

Working through otea, paoa and hivinau, aparima, and finishing with an otea, Ori Uvira — under the direction of Kumu Nick Kaneakua — earned top overall honors at the 12th Annual Heiva I Kauai Iaorana Tahiti at the Kapaa Beach Park.

“He is more than a super man,” said Art Umezu, the Kauai Film Commissioner, Sunday following the powerful presentation. “He is ultra man.”

En route to earning top overall honors, Ori Uvira swept the competitive phases of otea, aparima, drumming and ahupurotu, or the Tahitian version of the elegant Hawaiian muumuu.

Tamatea Nui O Kauai, under the direction of Kumu Wailana Dasalia Matias, finished in the runner up berth following two days of competition before a steady stream of people at the Kapaa Beach Park.

For her storytelling otea group, Tamatea Nui O Kauai offered the origins of Tiare Apatahi, Tahiti’s emblem.

Punctuating the two days of Tahitian and Polynesian culture dedicated to the late Kumu Hula Kuuleialoha Punua, the Michael Drake family offered fire knife demonstrations as well as classes and workshops.

Other cultural workshops and demonstration included coconut palm frond weaving, lauhala hat making and drumming workshops led by Tepairu Manea.

Caleb-Cole Caneda of Merahi Productions, Hilo and Lilinoe Wilson of Ori Uvira were announced as the overall tane and vahine winners in the keiki individual dance competition.

Daniel Sherman and Heather Ruth, both dancers from Te Vai Ura Nui, topped the senior individual dance competitions.

Shopping for Kauai Made and other Kauai crafts lined the tables of the craft tent, and the hot summer day was beat with the offerings of several food booths serving up a variety of menu items, including Hawaiian plates and shave ice.

More than 75 individuals crowded the tiny oasis of shade offered by a quick tent, the dancers ranging in age from 4 to more than 26 years old.

Ori Uvira fielded its share of individual awards, finishing with four first place honors and four runner-up awards.

Lilinoe Wilson topped the Vahine 10-12 group over Andrea Davenport of Halau Hula o Leilani and Megan Taylor of Tamatea Nui O Kauai.

Chazton Sasil edged out Rohotu’s Emmsley Drake in the Tane 19-25 age group followed by Lani Costido and Britney Hoku Hornos taking first and second, respectively in the Vahine 19-25. Annelise Dulatre-Pouoa of visiting Te Vai Ura Nui finished in third.

Pualaa Norwood rounded out the first place finishes in the Vahine 40-Plus group over Louise Sausen, an independent dancer.

Jaeden Makaala Victor-Basuel finished in second below Caleb-Cole Candea of Merahi Productions, Hilo, Hawaii in the Tane 10-12 group.

Timoteo Hew Len finished runner up below Zacchaeus Uta of Te Vai Ura Nui in the Tane 16-18 group. Enoka Baclayon of Tamatea Nui o Kauai ended in third.

Cheyla Defries of Halau Hula o Leilani topped the Vahine 4-6 group followed by fellow dancer Mahie Lum Won, also of the halau under Kumu Hula Leilani Low. Shayla Aiolupotea of Te Vai filled in the No. 3 spot.

Taylor Torcato of Tamatea Nui O Kauai topped the Vahine 7-9 group followed by Angelina Rivera of Ilima’s Hula Studio and Kilinoi Oliveira of Halau Hula o Leilani.

Kailanamakamae Saronitman of Tamatea Nui O Kauai topped the Tane 13-15 group followed by Tamatoa Jeshuahn of Te Vai Ura Nui.

The award-winning halau from Oahu also topped the first two places in the Vahine 13-15 group, the largest field, as Cassandra Kanoho finished tops followed by Tehani Perkins getting the runner up spot over Keahiwela Rivera of Ilima’s Hula Studio.

Naomi Baldomero brought another top award to Te Vai Ura Nui in the Vahine 16-18 group over Tahra-Lee Kaui of Halau Hula o Leilani.

Daniel Sherman of Te Vai Ura Nui edged out Ethan Nopuente of Te Ori Tahiti Here in the Tane 26-39 group followed by Heather Ruth of Te Vai Ura Nui topping the Vahine 26-39 group over Jaslynn Nuilani Ornellas of Ori Uvira and Mareva Anderson of Te Ori Tahiti Here.

The event was sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Authority and the County of Kauai.

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