Aunty Malia Kawaiho’ouluoha’ao Craver

 

The competition was founded by Aunty Malia Craver and Mr. Earl Kawai, both staff members of the Queen Lili’uokalani Children’s Center-Windward Unit.  When their agency’s group of young dancers participated in the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition, it became evident that they couldn’t compete against the level of expertise of the more experienced dancers.  After much discussion with the young dancers, the idea of initiating an amateur hula kahiko contest was born.  Thus, the idea became a reality when the First Annual Hula Kahiko Competition was held at Kualoa Regional Park in May 1978.

    The staff members of QLCC-Windward Unit ran the hula competition until it became apparent that they did not have the time or resources to continue the operation of the annual hula event.  After the completion of the 1985 competition, Aunty Malia called upon the Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. to carry on this important cultural  program.  The Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. accepted sponsorship and the Hawai’i Secondary Schools Hula Kahiko Competition was introduced in 1986.  In the following years, the competition became a joint effort of KPCA and the kokua of many supportive schools and their representatives.   

    The Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. supports the original purpose of the competition, which is to provide students with opportunities to 1. learn about the Hawaiian culture; 2. receive hula training not otherwise available to them; 3. share their skill and knowledge in ancient Hawaiian hula, and 4.  compete among their peers.

     In October 2009, Hawai’i lost the founder of the competition and one of our foremost Hawaiian resource, Aunty Malia Kawaiho’ouluoha’ao Craver.  Aunty Malia served as the ‘olelo judge from 1986 to 2006.  Even after Aunty retired from judging, she enjoyed attending the competition to watch the young dancers perpetuate the art of ancient hula and chant.  In recognition of her accomplishments and her love of the Hawaiian culture, the competition was renamed the Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition. 

 
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