Updated: September 27, 2023
Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, of Wailuku, Maui, won the Overall Kaikamahine (girls) division in the first Queen Liliʻuokalani Keiki Hula competition held since the onset of COVID.
The girls, all age 12 and under, were led by nā Kumu ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes, and were the only hālau to represent the island of Maui.
The Maui hālau placed No. 1 in the ʻauana division and No. 2 in kahiko, winning the overall award in a field of 26 hālau.
The competition featured more than 350 dancers in hālau hula from across the state and Japan, with 19 competing in the Kaikamahine category.
The hālau boys placed 2nd in kahiko and 3rd in ʻauana, and Kauila Shimabukuro was named Master Keiki Hula. ʻOlena Catiel placed 4th in the Miss Keiki Hula soloist competition. Both girls and boys won perfect scores in the Hawaiian Language category.
Across the state, hāumana persevered with their study of hula, dancing over Zoom and in outdoor spaces, with hopes and dreams that the beloved keiki hula competition would be resurrected so they could present their perpetuation of Hawaiian culture, ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, and their kumu’s hula lineage.
The 2023 Queen Liliʻuokalani Keiki Hula Competition was held on July 27-29 at the Brigham Young University–Hawaiʻi Cannon Center in Lāʻie.