Kabu ni Vanua brings crowd to its feet
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
For the third act during the Merrie Monarch Festival’s free Hoike Night, Kabu ni Vanua had something different for Hawaii’s hula fans.
That’s because the group from Fiji was on stage to demonstrate the meke – different from Hawaiian hula, but just as culturally significant to the islanders from the southwest Pacific. The fans in Hilo showed their appreciation throughout the performance, shouting out and giving a standing ovation at the finish.
Laisiasa Veikoso, director of the group, dedicated the performance to Aunty Dottie Thompson and Uncle George Naope, like so many of the week’s dancers have done, before shouting “hula” to start the show.
According to Peter Sur, reporting for the Hawaii-Tribune Herald, this was the first time a group from Fiji has danced at the Hoike, and it was also the first visit to the United States for Kabu ni Vanua.