HILO >> The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is celebrating the Merrie Monarch Festival with a showcase of musical performances and cultural presentations this week.
During a program Thursday honoring Aunty Nona Beamer, Hula Preservation Society director Maile Loo-Ching danced hula to a song written by Beamer’s grandmother, Helen Kapuailohia Desha Beamer (1882-1952), c. 1953. It describes the views of a drive to Kona via the Hamakua Coast and Waimea, with views including Haleakala and Hana. The humorous dance included movements to mimic driving.
Loo-Ching was a hanai daughter of Aunty Nona, who dedicated her life to teaching and sharing Hawaiian culture through mele, chant and hula.
Beamer’s hanai son Kaliko Trapp sang the mele, accompanied by Oahu’s Calvin Hoe, a former student of Nona Beamer’s at Kamehameha Schools.
Friday’s programs at ‘Imiloa, part of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, also featured performances by Kuana Kahele Torres and Sean Na’auao.