E Ola Ka Hula

Prince Lot Hula Festival

About

Since 1978 on the third weekend in July, the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival has brought together premier Hālau Hula (hula groups) from throughout the islands for a celebration of hula in a non-competitive setting. Along with craft and food vendors, and, cultural presentations, our Festival has become an exciting event allowing tens of thousands of island residents and visitors to experience the beauty and spirit of the Hawaiian culture.

E Ola Ka Hula - Hula is Life.

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Lota Kapuāiwa

Known as the last great traditional chief, Lota Kapuāiwa ruled Hawai’i as Kamehameha V from 1863 to 1872. A respected and revered monarch, Lot was driven by his love for his people. He was groomed at an early are to rule, attending the chiefʻs school with other ali’i children where they were trained in leadership.

His travels abroad on Matters of State helped prepare him for his future role as King. At the age of 22, Lot began his government career serving on the Privy Council of State, House of Nobles, Minister of the Interior and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Lot and his younger brother Alexander Liholiho, were very close and shared a strong bond. Upon the death of Liholiho, Lot ascended the throne of Hawai’i in 1863.

During his reign he established a new constitution and inspired a cultural renaissance, including the revival of hula and chant, and the healing arts. His admiration for his grandfather, Kamehameha the First, and his leadership, was memorialized in 1865 when Lot founded the Royal Order of Kamehameha, which participates yearly in the Prince Lot Hula Festival. As a young prince, Lot often visited his Moanalua home and summoned hula dancers to perform for guests, a tradition he would continue as King, despite prohibitions against Hula. Today, Lotʻs legacy of hula lives on in the Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival presented by Moanalua Gardens Foundation, honoring an ali’i who defied criticism to keep our Hawaiian culture alive! E ola mō’ī ali’i Lota Kapuāiwa.

Lota Kapuāiwa

Known as the last great traditional chief, Lota Kapuāiwa ruled Hawai’i as Kamehameha V from 1863 to 1872. A respected and revered monarch, Lot was driven by his love for his people. He was groomed at an early are to rule, attending the chiefʻs school with other ali’i children where they were trained in leadership.

His travels abroad on Matters of State helped prepare him for his future role as King. At the age of 22, Lot began his government career serving on the Privy Council of State, House of Nobles, Minister of the Interior and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Lot and his younger brother Alexander Liholiho, were very close and shared a strong bond. Upon the death of Liholiho, Lot ascended the throne of Hawai’i in 1863.

During his reign he established a new constitution and inspired a cultural renaissance, including the revival of hula and chant, and the healing arts. His admiration for his grandfather, Kamehameha the First, and his leadership, was memorialized in 1865 when Lot founded the Royal Order of Kamehameha, which participates yearly in the Prince Lot Hula Festival. As a young prince, Lot often visited his Moanalua home and summoned hula dancers to perform for guests, a tradition he would continue as King, despite prohibitions against Hula. Today, Lotʻs legacy of hula lives on in the Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival presented by Moanalua Gardens Foundation, honoring an ali’i who defied criticism to keep our Hawaiian culture alive! E ola mō’ī ali’i Lota Kapuāiwa.

img Lota Kapuaiwa min 1

Prince Lota Kapuāiwa

Past Hula Festivals

2021

21 Ai Weaver Prince Lot MGF 2021 Poster Sample

44th Anniversary Prince
Lot Hula Festival

2020

prince-lot-hula-festival-poster-2020

43rd Annual Prince Lot
Hula Festival

2019

MGF 2019 PLHF Poster Revised 11x17 6 13 19

42nd Annual Prince Lot
Hula Festival

LEARN MORE

Funders

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Sponsors

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Partners

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Daughters of Hawai‘i

Grants & Support

Kinohi - Origins

Nalani Olds, founder, originated the festival concept. In 1977, she envisioned Moanalua Gardens as a venue for expressing Hawaiian culture through hula. Nalani and her husband, Allen Napoleon, then Secretary to the Damon Estate Trustees, set out to make it a reality. Nalani and Anna Derby Blackwell, MGF’s first Executive Director, presented this vision to MGF’s Board of Directors receiving their endorsement. The Damon Estate Trustees set the guidelines. Next, Nalani sought out her cousin Wendell Silva who contributed his own mana`o (thought) to the plan. From the very beginning, the Prince Lot Hula Festival focused on sharing, rather than competing, featuring instead the best that each hālau has to offer.

Part of an established `ohana in the ahupua`a of Moanalua, Nalani was well versed in regional history. Prince Lot Kapuā`iwa, who reigned as King Kamehameha V, had a summer home in the area. where he entertained guests at dinner parties with the tradition of hula. To honor his legacy of reviving the hula at a time when it was forbidden, Nalani named the festival in Prince Lot’s honor.

Nalani’s Moanalua upbringing also gave her the inspiration for creating a pā hula (hula mound) for the festival. In ancient times, hula mounds were prevalent in the area. And so, the Prince Lot Hula mound, Kama`ipu`upa`a was born. Its dedication in the Spring of 1980 was a true community effort involving all of Hawai`i nei, as Kaha`i Topolinski and his hālau honored us with their artistic expressions of oli (chant) and kahiko (ancient) hula. Ferns for the enormous lei of palapalai that ringed the mound came from the original pu`u pa`a at Volcano on Hawai`i Island.

Over the years, the Prince Lot Hula Festival has developed into a powerful Hawaiian statement, defining our traditions, culture and language, and providing opportunities for new and experienced hālau to share their style of hula with the community. MGF is committed to ensuring the integrity of the Festival as it was conceived by its founders, Nalani Olds and Wendell Silva. We share this gift of the hula with you.

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Kūlia i ka nuʻu | Strive for the highest

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Help MGF keep our annual tradition of hula alive by donating now. Mahalo for your kokua!