For an intense few days in August of 2002, Kukui Grove Pavillion in Lihu’e resounded with the frenetic pounding of toere, subtle south Pacific harmonies, and roars of audience approval as the first annual Heiva I Kaua’i Ia Orana Tahiti International Tahitian dance competition got under way. As the title suggests, it was truly an international event, with contestants traveling from as far as Tahiti and New Caledonia. Local talent from several islands in Hawai’i also put on a good show. Besides dancers and musicians, the event featured craftspeople from around the Pacific, and, typical of any Polynesian get together, plenty of food.
Ka ‘Imi Na’auao o Hawai’i Nei put in a short but significant appearance during the opening ceremonies. Representing the host culture, Keahi Manea, wife of Heiva organizer Tepairu Manea, and Heu’ionalani Wyeth welcomed the visiting performers with oli and hula appropriate to the occasion. The guests, clearly pleased with this presentation, responded by piling gifts in front of the hosts. Many people who witnessed this ceremony had never seen its like before, and also found it impressive.
Besides Keahi and Heu’ionalani, other members of our organization helped out in less visible but equally important ways. People donated food, time, supplies, services, and aloha for the visitors. All of them deserve praise and thanks.
Heiva I Kaua’i 2003 will take place on 17-20 July. Anyone interested in participating should contact Tepairu at 808 822 9447 or visit www.tikiripolynesianinstruments.com