Hilo, Hawaii – Two treasured figures in the world of hula have been lost this week, only a short time before the start of the 2010 Merrie Monarch festival.
Dorothy “Aunty Dottie” Thompson, co founder of the Merrie Monarch, died on Friday at Hilo Medical Center, reportedly surrounded by her family. She was 88.
Not even 24 hours later, prominent Hilo kumu hula Rae Fonseca died on Oahu of an apparent heart attack. Fonseca collapsed after a Saturday afternoon performance of his Halau Hula O Kahikilaulani. He was 56.