The Legacy of a princess

Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

HomeI MUA Newsroom KS alumni perpetuate the art of hula at Merrie Monarch Festival
Kumu Hula Snowbird Bento KSK’93 and the wāhine and kāne of Ka Pā Hula O Ka Lei Lehua are among the more than 20 hālau competing in this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival. Bento also serves as an oli and hula kumu at KS Kapālama Middle School.
KS alumni perpetuate the art of hula at Merrie Monarch Festival

Hilo is abuzz with excitement this week with opening of the Merrie Monarch Festival, dedicated to the celebration and perpetuation of the art of hula.

The week-long fest honors the “Merrie Monarch” King David Kalākaua who inspired the preservation of Hawaiian traditions, language and arts.

King Kalākaua once said, “Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian People.” This “language of the heart” was once banned at Kamehameha Schools. Today, the heartbeat of hula beats strongly in the hearts of Pauahi’s children.

The festival features an internationally acclaimed hula competition showcasing kahiko (ancient) and ʻauana (modern) hula. The festivities also include a Miss Aloha Hula competition, Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town.

The following Kamehameha Schools alumni will share their passion for hula, Hawaiian language and culture at the festival’s hula competition which begins on Thursday, April 20. Mahalo to each of them for bringing honor to the legacy of our founder Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Bishop.


Snowbird Bento KSK’93
Ka Pā Hula O Ka Lei Lehua (wāhine and kāne)
Bento is an oli and hula kumu at KS Kapālama Middle School

Kapua Dalire-Moe KSK’90
Hālau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniākea (wāhine)

Nāpua Greig-Nakasone KSK’92
Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka (wāhine)

Kamaka Kukona KSK’96
Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua (wāhine)

Tracie Lopes KSK’89
Ka Lā ʻŌnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe (wāhine)

ʻIliahi Paredes KSK’92
Hālau Kekuaokalaʻauʻalaʻiliahi (wāhine and kāne)

Kaʻilihiwa Vaughan-Darval KSK’93
Hālau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine (wāhine and kāne)

Karl Veto Baker KSK’76
Hālau I Ka Wēkiu (wāhine and kāne)

Nā kumu share haliʻa aloha (cherished memories) about the hula festival on the Merrie Monarch YouTube channel.


The 2016 Miss Aloha Hula Kayli Kaʻiulani Carr KSK'08 of Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua will take the stage for the final time this week. Among those vying for her title are:

Julyen Machiko Kaloke Kaluna KSK’14
Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela
Nā Kumu Kunewa Mook and Kau‘ionālani Kamana‘o

Miriam Anuhea Kamakanaokealoha Hokoana Arakawa KSM’13
Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka
Kumu Nāpua Greig-Nakasone

Ariana Ka‘ano‘ikehaikūlō‘ihia Kaliliokū Akaka KSK’09
Ka Lā ʻŌnohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe
Nā Kumu Tracie and Keawe Lopes
Ariana is the daughter of KS Cultural Specialist Hau‘oli Akaka and wife Ku‘ulei.

Leimakamae Maura Kea KSM’15
Hālau Kekuaokalaʻauʻalaʻiliahi
Nā Kumu Haunani and ‘Iliahi Paredes

Kelina Kiyoko Ke‘ano‘ilehua Tiffany Eldredge KSK’12
Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua
Nā Kumu Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padilla

For details on the event, visit the Merrie Monarch Festival website. Learn more about King David Kalākaua in the I Mua Newsroom story, “Celebrating the life of the Merrie Monarch,” by KS’ Hoʻokahua Cultural Vibrancy Group.

A heartfelt mahalo to Pauahi Foundation Alumni Relations Coordinator Denise Ka‘a‘a KSK'84 for helping to gather and verify the information for this story. If we missed anyone, please email us at

SP2020 is a five-year strategic plan that will guide Kamehameha Schools from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward KS’ Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.

Kamehameha alumni across the globe who lead with Hawaiian knowledge and values help strengthen the native Hawaiian identity of KS, supporting Goal 3 of SP2020.

Watch the full video KS Hawaiʻi produced for the 2017 Merrie Monarch Festival. The video is available as a 360-degree viewing experience, a first for KS Hawaiʻi.

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April 24, 2014

Celebrating the life of the “Merrie Monarch”

Merrie Monarch. The mere whisper of this name may lead the listener down a vast corridor of thoughts, images and emotions. Some of us will be making the trek to Hilo to enjoy this week’s festivities while most of us will be watching comfortably from our homes.

Tags: sp2020 goal 3, hawnleaders

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