Visiting Moana ʻala ~ʻŪniki 2022~
Before our ʻūniki, we visited Mauna ’ala which is the Hawaiian Aliʻi Mausoleum on Nuʻuanu Ave.
The purpose visiting there is to report that we are going to ʻūniki and greet to Hawaiian Aliʻi.
3 different ʻŪniki levels
In our tradition, we have 3 different levels to ʻūniki.
– 1st level is “ʻŌlapa” which is great hula dancer.
– 2nd level is “Hʻopaʻa” which is great chanter.
– 3rd level is “Kumu Hula” which is Hula teacher who carries traditional hula lineage.
This doesn’t mean once you are in the process of ʻūniki, you have to be Kumu Hula. If you want to stay as ʻōlapa, you can stay there because once you become Hoʻopaʻa, you don’t have that much chance to dance in public anymore. And sometimes, people doesn’t have a ability to be a Hoʻopaʻa even he or she is a great ʻōlapa. Also, there is a chance that great ‘ōlapa and Hoʻōpaʻa doesn’t have a ability to teach or guide people…. In that case you’ll remain as ʻŌlapa or Hoʻopaʻa.
Your Kumu will decide who is going to take a ʻūniki and what level of ʻūniki you will take.
My Kumu Kealohalani wright had first ʻūniki and become ʻōlapa and with the next ʻūniki she ʻūniki as Hoʻopaʻa and Kumu Hula at the same time.
For this time of ʻūniki, Kumu decided to ʻūniki me as ʻŌlapa, Hoʻopaʻa and Kumu Hula… all 3 at a same time!! Kumu told me that she had never considered to ʻūniki someone 3 levels at a time. But, she thought I am the one. (What an honor…!!) When she told me about it, I was hesitated. And thought about it for couple months. Then, a spirit of aunty Lani (my Kumu nui) visited me at my house. She told me, “there is another Kuleana you have to do. Do not hesitate. Be a Kumu Hula.”. With this word, I decided to take this ʻūniki. (In our ʻūniki, Kumu told us that aunty Lani ʻūniki 3 levels at the same time, which we didn’t know.)
Mauna ‘Ala dedication
At Maura ‘Ala, first we lined up and chant oli kāhea to enter. When Kumu answers with oli komo, we can enter. On that time, Kumu pī kai (sprinkle Sacred Water to purify) us.
Hoʻopaʻa to be and Kumu Hula to be lined up and chant Nā Aumakua, play Pahu certain times.
Then visitors (our Hula sisters and families) can enter.
We had Leis to present to each Aliʻi. As we go to each Tomb, we present a Lei, chant their oli inoa and danced their Mele inoa. For each Aliʻi, Kumu shared about what they did, what kind of character they had and hidden history behind.
All the moment was so blessed. Felt nice breeze and beautiful sunshine.
And at the end, we had blessing shower from heaven.
The Kahu Kaiheʻe allowed us to visit underground grave where all Aliʻi’s bones are. We called the name of each Aliʻi, so that their name will be forever remembered.
Visited Lunalilo Tombs
Lunalilo is buried at Kawaihao Church because he chose not to buried at Mauna ʻala.
Their are complicated background for that. The biggest reason why is that Kamehameha 4th and Kamehameha 5th didn’t bury his mother Kekāuluohi at Mauna ʻala due to her aliʻi Ranking.
~From Wikipedia ~ ——————————
Kekāuluohi died of influenza at Pohukaina, Honolulu, June 7, 1845. Initially buried in the Pohukaina Tomb, located on grounds of ʻIolani Palace, her remains were not amongst those transported in 1865 to the newly constructed Royal Mausoleum at Mauna ʻAla in the Nuʻuanu Valley.It isn’t known if this was a mistake or oversight, but the indignant Lunalilo refused to bury his mother at the Royal Mausoleum and instead arrange her remains to buried at sea.
Lunalilo had conflict with Kamehameha 4th and 5th for a long time, too. Kamehameha 4th and 5th made fun of him and his motherʻs Ranking. (he is not a son of Kamehamehas.)
Because of these reasons, Lunalilo chose to sleep with commoners, not with Aliʻi.
After the Mauna ʻala, we went to Kawaihao Church and, dedicated Oli and Hula noho for Lunalilo.
Now our report of ʻūniki was completed!!