Getting better with age

  • Sabine Maeva Andreser of Halau Kalaakeakauikawekiu dances to Keokea Paka in the Tutu Wahine category of the Kupuna Hula Competition Wednesday at the Sheraton Konac Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Right: Michael Scott Carius of Na Kupuna O Kau dances to “Ke Ala A Ka Jeep” in the Tutu Kane category of the Kupuna Hula Competition Wednesday at the Sheraton Konac Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay.

  • Left: Sabine Maeva Andreser of Halau Kalaakeakauikawekiu dances to “Keokea Paka” in the Tutu Wahine category of the Kupuna Hula Competition Wednesday.

KAILUA-KONA — The 36th annual Kupuna Hula Festival kicked off Wednesday with 24 halau from Hawaii, Canada, the mainland and Japan taking the stage at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Presented by the Hawaii County Parks and Recreations Elderly Activities Division as a part of Hawaii Island Festival, the two-day event is a celebration to honor and perpetuate the art of Hula through our most treasured resource, na kupuna.

This year’s theme is “Na Mele Aina no Kohala, Kona, me Ka’u.” Kumu were encouraged to choose a mele composed for any mahele aina (land section) or wahi pana (legendary places) found in the moku of Kohala, Kona, and Ka’u.

Wednesday’s festivities included individuals competing in the Tutu Kane and Tutu Wahine categories and the International Hoolaulea, as well as a craft fair.

The action continues today with Wahine, Kane and Mixed divisions at 5 p.m. The craft fair, which features local vendors selling handmade crafts, goodies and more runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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