Monday, March 18, 2013

‘Ahuroa: Dancing a Legacy - The ‘Ahuroa

This is part 4 of a 5 part series delving into the origins of the modern version of Tahitian dance.

By Eric Ka’ahele Morales

The ‘Ahuroa
In constructing the ‘ahuroa, Roiti and Tavana worked together to create a more formal looking dance that, as Roiti states, was simply “another excellent number for the show.” Using the ‘aparima himene as a guide, they decided on a number of specifications that their version of the dance would follow. First off, only female dancers would participate, and these dancers were then each given a long, elegant dress that was form fitted, with sleeves, and ruffles.

In terms of music, it differed in a few distinct aspects. First and foremost, the dance was performed with a slower tempo. By reducing the tempo of the music, the ‘ahuroa looked similar to the hula ‘auana (modern hula). Aware of this correlation, they decided that the Tahitian song used be done to a waltz time as an added means of differentiating the two styles. Otherwise, the manner of gesturing, the type of the lyrics of the song, and the content that usually appeared in an ‘aparima hīmene were the same. According to Roiti, because of this, the learning of the actual dance was relatively simple: “By the time we started the show, we just learned the number.”

The original innovations introduced to the ‘aparima hīmene to make it the ‘ahuroa were then: the exclusion of men, costuming, a slower tempo, and a waltz.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

‘Ahuroa: Dancing a Legacy - The ‘Aparima

This is part 3 of a 5 part series delving into the origins of the modern version of Tahitian dance.

By Eric Ka’ahele Morales

The ‘Aparima
As stated earlier, the dance Tavana and Roiti created, the ‘ahuroa, was rooted within the dance form, the ‘aparima. Translated, ‘aparima means “movement of the hand,” with apa meaning “movement” and rima meaning “hand or arm.” Whereas in other Tahitian dance forms the hands are more ornamental, in the ‘aparima, the hands serve as a means of conveying a narrative and is the only one that is always meant to pantomime an actual story.

The two categories of ‘aparima are the ‘aparima vāvā and the ‘aparima hīmene. Male and females may dance both types of the ‘aparima. The costuming is flexible and can vary from a pāreu tied around the waist with a coconut bra or a separate cloth covering the chest of female dancers. Male dancers can leave their chest bare or adorn it with leis. More skirts and headdresses can be used by either sex. Gestures used in the dance are either descriptive, symbolic, or ornamental. An example of a descriptive gesture would be if the song were to reference sleep, the dancer may place both their open palms together on one side of their tilted head to mime the act of sleeping. A common symbolic gesture is putting one’s closed fists on the hips to mark the beginning or the end of the ‘aparima.

The Tahitian word, vāvā, means mute, thus the ‘aparima vāvā is largely a pantomime, as neither the dancers nor the musicians provide any lyrical accompaniment. For the most part, it is performed in a kneeling position, with dancers acting out stories, mainly being pulled from the daily life of the islands and lasting under a minute. The music is secondary to the dance, used to accentuate and coordinate the gestures of the dancers, and the instruments used are primarily the pahu (base drum) and the tō’ere (slit-log drum), with the vivo (Tahitian nose flute) occasionally making an appearance.

Hīmene, by contrast, is derived from the English word, hymn. The ‘aparima hīmene is thus reliant on a sung narrative to tell a story and is considerably longer in length than the ‘aparima vāvā. In it, dancers pair mainly symbolic movements to correspond with the lyrics. The songs used can come from the existing Tahitian folk song repertoire or be the original creation of the group director. In some cases, the group director may take an existing folk song and restructure the music or lyrics to fit their artistic desires. Folk songs that have already been affected by popular music genres or that have been fused with Western musical influences are also still viable options for the ‘aparima hīmene. These outside influences are especially significant in the instrumental accompaniment, which usually includes stringed instruments, such as the guitar or the ukulele, along with the use of drums or the vivo. Content wise, the song chosen for the ‘aparima hīmene is characterized by its focus on describing the abstract, such as emotions and thoughts towards other people, places, or objects. ‘Aparima hīmene can be based on a story that reflects childhood memories with a loved member of the community or they can be about the simple joys of one’s homeland.

Inherent in both types of the ‘aparima is flexibility, in costuming, music, and even choreography. In fact, many of the gestures are not fixed, and numerous interpretations of songs can be used that incorporate a wide range of gestures. Also, the choreography of dances can easily be adjusted; for instance, performances where the dances are standing can easily be altered to take place in a sitting position.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

‘Ahuroa: Dancing a Legacy - Tahiti to Hawaii

This is part 2 of a 5 part series delving into the origins of the modern version of Tahitian dance.

By Eric Ka’ahele Morales

Tahiti to Hawaii
The creation of the ‘ahuroa occurred shortly after the revival of Tahitian dance, which had been largely suppressed by the work of European missionaries. It was in 1956 that Madeleine Mou’a’s dance group, Heiva, gained recognition for being the first professional troupe to take Tahitian dance out of the place of shame imposed upon it by the church, restoring a sense of pride in the native dance form. Mou’a was a school principal and actively recruited students to join her group. Soon, a slew of performers were taking up the dance. Many of these people began leaving Tahiti to perform in other venues. Roiti Tahauri Sylva, one of Mou’a’s students, was among these performers, heading off to Hawaii in 1959.

The 1950s and 1960s brought about overwhelming change to the cultural landscape of Hawaii. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state in the United States of America, leading to an increase in the urban development of the islands, specifically in Waikiki, Oahu, which quickly became a center of tourism. At the core of the growing tourism market, in the heart of Waikiki existed Queen’s Surf Restaurant and Nightclub featuring Tavana’s Polynesia, which was a nightly show consisting of dances from Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, and Tonga.

Tavana Hare Salmon, a native Tahitian who grew up in Hawaii, was the show coordinator. He and his family scouted the islands for performers who had talent suitable for the productions, always attempting to engineer the next big show. Each night, ten to twelve dance numbers were used to provide an hour of entertainment for the spectators. Believing that the current show repertoire consisted of too many fast and up-tempo beats, Tavana decided to incorporate a slower, more formal number. Working in conjunction with Roiti Tahauri Sylva, they both helped to create the first ‘ahuroa performance. He provided ideas, a stage for artistic freedom, an audience, and additional performers; she provided her talent and skill, choreographing the first actual dance. In this venue, the two were able to present their traditions to a new audience any way they pleased.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

‘Ahuroa: Dancing a Legacy - The Show

Have you ever wondered where and how we have the modern version of Tahitian dance? How about where the names came from, the rules, the styles, and/or even how it made its way outside of Tahiti? This original five part series dives into these questions and more. Below is part 1 of 5 by guest author Eric Ka'ahele Morales, one of the organizers of the Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete, the longest running Tahitian Heiva outside of Tahiti.  He, along with executive producer Rebecca Manandic and others make the Merced, California event a premier Tahitian dance annual event each March.

By Eric Ka’ahele Morales

“It’s a legacy. Something we are leaving behind … I didn’t realize it would be very popular” – Roiti Tahauri Sylva.   

The Show

It was an idea for a new take on an old dance, traditional, innovational, show stopping. The year was 1967, and Roiti Tahauri Sylva, a Tahitian immigrant to Hawaii, was on stage at the Queen’s Surf in Honolulu. She had a group of performers with her, all of them wearing long, elegant dresses with fitted sleeves and ruffles, tropical flowers adorning the fabric. They were to dance in front of a large audience: tourists, locals, complete with journalists. The dance was to consist of a slow ‘aparima, done in waltz time, to the song, Tau Tamaiti Here. But before they could go on stage, Roiti was asked a simple question by the master of ceremony and co-creator of the dance, Tavana Hare Salmon: “What is the name of this dance?” After a seconds pause, she answered, “‘Ahuroa.” 

Roiti Sylva performing the 'Ahuroa at the Queen's Surf
On the second show that night, Roiti reconsidered her choice in the name and called it an ‘ahu’purotu. Both names have since gained a certain resonance. The word, ahu, refers to any cloth or garment, and roa has numerous definitions, but in this context, it pertains to one complete piece of an object, long in length. The word, purotu, translates into beautiful. Each name then references the dress the dancers wear: ‘ahuroa is a single piece, long dress; ‘ahu’purotu is a beautiful dress. Both names continue to be used today, usually interchangeably.

Meant to be performed for only that weekend, the ‘ahuroa took on a life of its own. The dance was such a success that dancers in the group as well as dancers in the audience started copying the specifics of this new style and performing them in other nearby venues, sometimes calling it an ‘ahuroa, other times an ‘ahu’purotu, or simply referring to it as a slow or formal ‘aparima, which is considered one of the four recorded surviving forms of Tahitian dance: the others being the ‘ōte‘a, hivinau, and pā‘ō‘ā.

Monday, July 09, 2012

130th Annual Heiva i Tahiti

The Heiva you've all been hearing about is already upon us. Here's the complete Ori Tahiti schedule provided by the French Polynesia Ministry of Culture and Heiva Nui. The 130th Annual Heiva i Tahiti dance competition will run from July 5-14, 2012 and once again take place at Place Toata in the heart of downtown Papeete, Tahiti.

Check out our Facebook page for updates including video links, photos and information.

Here's the schedule for the dance groups:

Thursday, July 5
Ori i Tahiti (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Terau
     Theme: The canoe / Te va'a - Reflection on the evolution of the outrigger, its role and origins.
Ahutoru Nui (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Anthony Tirao, Arue
     Theme: The legend of the coconut tree on the island of Ana'a.

Friday, July 6
Pupu Tuhaa Pae (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Arsene Hatitio
     Theme: Theme: The privilege of the elder / Te Manatu o te mata'iapo 
Hei Tahiti (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Tiare Trompette, Pirae
     Theme: The weaving of Love / Te fenu aroha

Saturday, July 7
Manava Tahiti (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Amanda Bennett
     Theme: The Kingdom of Atehi - The power of love. 
Tamariki Poerani (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Makau Foster, Papeete
     Theme: Life and the Four Elements / Te ora e te fenua te matai, te vai, te ahi

Sunday, July 8
Hitireva (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Kehaulani Chanquy
     Theme: Timeless color / Uatau - Praise the colors of nature.
Heikura Nui (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Iriti Hoto
     Theme: Deep in my soul / Te hohonuraa o te aau

Wednesday, July 11
Tamarii Manotahi (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Monette Harua
     Theme: Manotahi
Tamariki Oparo (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Pierrot Faraire
     Theme: The big giant reptile Maitua called Te Moko

Thursday, July 12
O Marama  (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Marama Dugan
     Theme: The Beginning / I te hamataraa
O Tahiti e (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Marguerite Lai
     Theme: The Legend of Haumanavaitu - The origin of Poutoru, Tahaa district. 

Friday, July 13
Fare Ihi No Huahine (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Jean Puupuu
     Theme: Te muturaa o Huahine - How the island of Huahine was cut in two.
Temaeva (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - Coco Hotahota
     Theme: Land of Pleasure - Navenave fenua 

Saturday, July 14
Haere Mai (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Moeata Laughlin
     Theme: The sounds of echo / Te o te mau Vevo pehe
Tamarii Faretou No Haapu (Hura Ava Tau)
     Ra'atira - Edwin Teheiura
     Theme:  Faretou - The story recalls the ties that bind Huahine Mataiva to RAROMATAI.
Tamarii Tipaerui (Hura Tau)
     Ra'atira - John Cadousteau
     Theme: The Legend of Haumanavaitu - traces the origin of Poutoru, Tahaa district.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Heiva i Honolulu crowns Grand Champions

Vahine of Maohi Nui
If you made it to the Waikiki Shell last weekend, you were in good company. Over 2,000 onlookers as well as Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, and the reigning Mrs. America Lara Fonoimoana, dropped by to experience the pageantry, music, drumming and dancing of performers from over 35 Tahitian dance groups at this years Heiva i Honolulu. You no doubt were able to see a weekend full of award winning Tahitian dance performances highlighted by the Grand Champion crowning. In fact, two Grand Champions were crowned, Heretama Nui (Pearl City, Hawaii), who was defending their Hura Tau Overall Ote'a title, and Tamatoa (Kaneohe, Hawaii) with the Hura Ava Tau Overall Ote'a award.

It was a weekend full of colorful and extravagant costumes, original Aparima music, and dance themes ranging from Hawaiian legends (Pele, Pu'uloa) to traditional Tahitian themes based on the tiare flower, the beauty of vahine (woman), love and light, monoi and the warmth of a new day took the stage with dance groups and soloists.

Solo competition took place on Thursday, the first day of the competition. Dancers were divided up into vahine and tane age categories. Over 150 soloists took the stage and gave their all demonstrating their skills, endurance, costumes and charisma to the audience and judges. Awards were announced and the 1st place dancers of each category moved on to compete in the Overall award that was decided on Saturday. The overall vahine, Agnes Manuma (27-35 Vahine) of Maohi Nui was awarded a $2,000 Tahitian black pearl necklace and bracelet. The overall tane award went to Shane Galicia of Tiare Ura O Tahiti.

Friday was the start of group competition. Hura Ava Tau groups, which are the groups that are newer and have had less competition experience, took the stage with Tamatoa, the eventual Hura Ava Tau Grand Champion, starting off with their Ahupurotu presentation.

Hura Tau groups performed Saturday with competition in several categories including Vahine Ahupurotu (a more formal and graceful dance done in long traditional dresses), drumming (demonstrating proficiency in all traditional beats after which a creative section follows), and Overall Ote'a (which includes an Aparima, Paoa, and Ote'a). The Overall Ote'a presentation for groups had a maximum 30 minutes to tell their story with song, dance and drumming.

Heiva i Honolulu 2012 celebrated their 10th anniversary this year - Ahuru ra'a o te Matahiti
Participating groups in the Hura Tau division included Heretama Nui (Jimmy Ramento, Christopher Ramento) of Pearl City, Maohi Nui (Mervyn Lilo) of Aiea, Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui (Kevin & Aulii Kama) of Honolulu, and Te Iriatai Ora (Keali'i Bush) also of Honolulu. Tamatoa (Tino Moe) of Kaneohe, Puahinano (Pualani Horiuchi) of Okinawa, Japan, Te Hei Ura (Kapua Hau'oli, PuaUra Nishida) of Osaka, Japan, Te Mahana O Te Ra (Ku'uleinani Hashimoto) Tahiti Mana (Manari'i Gauthier) of Honolulu all competed in the Hura Ava Tau division.

Without further ado, here are the results. For additional information, feel free to visit the event website - Tahiti Nui International.

Heiva I Honolulu 2012 Group Award Results

OVERALL Tane ~ Shane Galicia / Tiare Ura O Tahiti
OVERALL Vahine ~ Agnes Manuma / Maohi Nui


Vahine Ahupurotu

1st Place      Te Mahana O Te Ra
2nd Place    Te Hei Ura
3rd Place     Tahiti Mana

Tupuna Ahupurotu

1st Place     Te Mahana O Te Ra
2nd Place    Te Hei Ura


1st Place     Te Mahana O Te Ra
2nd Place    Puahinano

Original Aparima

1st Place     Tamatoa
2nd Place    Te Hei Ura


1st Place     Tamatoa
2nd Place    Te Hei Ura


1st Place     Tamatoa
2nd Place    Te Mahana O Te Ra
3rd Place     Te Hei Ura




Vahine Ahupurotu

1st Place      Maohi Nui
2nd Place    Heretama Nui
3rd Place     Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Original Aparima

1st Place     Heretama Nui
2nd Place    Maohi Nui
3rd Place     Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui


1st Place     Heretama Nui
2nd Place    Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui
3rd Place     Maohi Nui


1st Place     Heretama Nui
2nd Place    Maohi Nui
3rd Place     Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Best Ra'atira ~ Heretama Nui
Best Costume ~ Heretama Nui
Best Couple ~ Heretama Nui


Heretama Nui



4-6 Tamahine

1st Place  Dionisia Robinson / Manutahi
2nd Place  Quynn Bonilla / Maohi Nui
3rd Place Chardonnay Kinimaka / Maohi Nui

4-6 Tamaroa

1st Place Saige Marienthal / Here Tama Nui
2nd Place Matagi Lilo / Maohi Nui
3rd Place Jamie Wond / Here Tama Nui

7-10 Tamahine

1st Place Nicole Graham / Tamatoa
2nd Place  Alana Nicely / Here Tama Nui
3rd Place Chasmine Drumeller / Manutahi
4th Place Hana Fujisaki / Tokariga Kaloke Mele Mele

7-10 Tamaroa

1st Place Jiovanni Tafisi / Maohi Nui
2nd Place Alize Kinimaka / Maohi Nui
3rd Place Kainoa-Sagon Sumaoang / Manutahi


11-13 Tamahine

1st Place Nagisa Takizawa / Tokariga Kaloke Mele Mele
2nd Place Tehani Perkins / Te Vai Ura Nui
3rd Place Cassandra Kanoho / Te Vai Ura Nui
4th Place Brooke Leslie / HereTama Nui

11-13 Tamaroa

1st Place Kailana Savonitman / Tamatea Nui O Kauai

14-17 Tamahine

1st Place Naomi Baldomero / Te Vai Ura Nui
2nd Place Kayli Taniguchi / Here Tama Nui
3rd Place Sammy McClymonds / Hitia O Te Ra

14-17 Tamaroa

1st Place Zacchaeus Uta / Te Vai Ura Nui
2nd Place Tamatoa Uta / Te Vai Ura Nui


18-21 Vahine

1st Place Poerava Goo / Tahiti toa
2nd Place Chelsea Clement / Maohi Nui
3rd Place Charzelle Fuller-McAngus / Maohi Nui

18-21 Tane

1st Place Okuto Horiuchi / Puahinano
2nd Place Keanu-Neil Mesiona / Manutahi
3rd Place Tripler Fiapai / Maeva I Patitifa

22-26 Vahine

1st Place Pua Baker / Maohi Nui
2nd Place Ayumi Asano / Tokariga Kaloke Mele Mele
3rd Place Shantee Hookano / Te Iriatai Ora

22-26 Tane

1st Place Shane Galicia / Tiare Ura O Tahiti
2nd Place Peter Flores / Tahiti Toa
3rd Place Takafumi "Teva" Gima / Puahinano

27-35 Vahine

1st Place Agnes Manuma / Maohi Nui
2nd Place Maki Ito / Hei Tiare Tahiti
3rd Place Ronelle Dement / Te Iriatai Ora
4th Place Nihaniya Sam Fong / Te Iriatai Ora

27-35 Tane

1st Place  Manarii Gauthier / Tahiti Mana
2nd Place Julian Maeva / Maeva I Patitifa
3rd Place Daniel Sherman / Te Vai Ura Nui

36-45 Vahine

1st Place Belinda Miranda / Manutahi
2nd Place Analyn Koeger / Maeva I Patitifa
3rd Place Kozue Oumuma / Hei Tiare Tahiti

36-45 Tane

1st Place Lawakua Gabriel / Manutahi

46 and more Vahine

1st Place Hei Tiare Komatsu / Hei Tiare Tahiti
2nd Place Pualani Horiuchi / Puahinano
3rd Place Chizuko Seta / Te Mahana O Te Ra

Friday, March 02, 2012

Heiva i Hawai'i debuts with Grande Performances

The Tahitian Dance community welcomed its newest event this past month ~ Heiva i Hawai'i. Fittingly it also started off the 2012 Heiva season. Produced by award-winning group Te `E`a o Te Turama and its leader, Maile Lee, Heiva i Hawai'i welcomed groups and soloists from throughout the islands to Kailua-Kona over a weekend of fun-filled dance, crafting and music.

Maile started the event because her best friend, Kula Keawekane, of Fun to Jump Kona did a Mahalo Fun Day for the `ohana's in Kona last year. They set up Inflatables and had some entertainment and invited some Vendors to enjoy the day. Later, they decided to expand and do a Tahitian Dance Competition and Mahalo Fun Day with the main focus of giving back to the community and bringing more awareness for the Tahitian culture and dance.

The 3-day event brought strong performances by local groups such as Merahi o Tapiti, Toa Here, Te Vai Ura Nui and Polynesian Paradise and a crowning of the first ever Mr and Miss Heiva i Hawaii. A wide range of local support sponsored the event as well. Those included: The Shops at Mauna Lani, Fun to Jump Kona, Earl De Leon, Show Systems Hawai`i, Loud & Clear Productions, ITA Hawai`i, West Hawai`i Screen Printers, Kaua`i Polynesian Festival, Fatu Krainer, Alofa`s Custom Instruments, Moani Lahi Designs, Camelia Temanaha, Wailana Lee, Keauhou Beach Resort, Kuma Contracting, Royal Kona Resort, Enterprise Ret a Car, and Parks & Recreation (Wes, Vic & Diego)

Official photographer, Mike Wine, of Island Tours & Activities has a gallery of photos and videos (coming soon) of the 1st Annual Heiva i Hawai'i. Photos may be purchased online in various sizes and styles.

And if you missed it this year, don't worry. Dates for next years event have already been announced. Heiva i Hawai'i 2013 will take place February 15-17, 2013 in Kailua-Kona. Visit the event website for updates as they become available.

Below is a letter from Maile Lee, producer of Heiva i Hawai'i, summarizing the event.

By Guest Contributor Maile Lee

Aloha a Ia Orana,

Heiva i Hawai`i 2012 was an awesome experience for myself and Te `E`a o Te Turama.  The three day event brought artisans, dancers and patrons from all over Hawai`i and the neighbor islands to Maka`eo in Kailua-Kona.  Malihini and Kama`aina alike were treated to the island’s finest Tahitian Dance and drumming, unique Polynesian crafts and jewelry and an awesome array of Local Grinds.

On Friday evening, February 17, 2012, we crowned our First Mr & Miss Heiva i Hawai`i at the Shops at Mauna Lani on the South Kohala Coast.

19 year old Makana Pohakuikalewa Keana`aina a Native Hawaiian speaker from Kailua-Kona played the `ukulele and sang ‘Te Tama Maohi’ to capture the hearts of the judges as well as the Mr Heiva i Hawai`i 2012 title.

Naomi Baldemero
Miss Naomi Kau`iokeaho Baldemero, proved that experience was the key in the girls competition.  Her winning ways in Tahitian dance competition for the past few years with her Award-Winning group Te Vai Ura Nui helped her to realize her goal to take the crown and become Miss Heiva i Hawai`i 2012.

Saturday, February 18, 2012, featured over 70 of Hawai`i’s finest Solo dancers from 3 years old to 40+ and fabulous. House Drummers played for nearly 2 hours non-stop as dancers in beautiful costumes and adornments wowed the judges with their technical skill and creativity.

Afternoon competition featured Tamari`i (Children’s) Group Presentations.  The audience was treated to Polynesian folklore as dancers acted out scenes depicting the Legend o Maui and Hina and the creation of the Kumu Niu, the first coconut trees of Tahiti and the story of Oro, the Master of the Sky who created Poerava ~ the Tahitian Black Pearls.

At the days end, winners were announced for the first place solo division winners as Ra`atira and their Pupu Ori contemplated and readied themselves for day 2 of competition.

Sunday, February 19, 2012, began with the Overall Solo dance off.  Tane and Vahine along with their younger counterparts vied for The Overall Tane and Vahine Soloists along with the top Tamahine and Tamaroa. Solo dance competition gave way to a cacophony of Drums as two groups from Hawai`i island competed in Drumming competition.  In the afternoon Junior Group competition got underway.  The crowd was treated to a heated battle between Pele and her sister Na Maka o Kaha`i, goddess of the Sea and the melodic story of love in Mihi au ia`oe as dancers in lovely dresses brought our days competition to a close with images of the beautiful Tahitian Vahine.

Merahi o Tapiti
When all was said and done Merahi o Tapiti and their Ra`atira Tiffany Delacruz and Corey Sibayan were the Junior group winners taking various awards including first place in drumming competition back to Hilo.  As for the Tamari`i groups it was Mahealani Lee’s Polynesian Paradise that caught the attention of the Judges.

Te Vai Ura Nui’s Naomi Baldemero, Miss Heiva I Hawai`I 2012, and Daniel Sherman captured the Tane & Vahine Overall Soloist Awards and Merahi o Tapiti’s sweetheart won the Tamahine solo award.  But it was Koari`i Atkinson-Siola who swept the judges votes when he performed a round-off back hand spring to end his Tamaroa Overall winning routine.

Results for Heiva i Hawai'i 2012


5-7 years old
1st – Katarina Piper, Polynesian Paradise
2nd – Leonahenahe Pavao, Polynesian Paradise
3rd(tie) – Aysia-Lee Jaquias, Merahi o Tapiti

3rd(tie) – Pualena Andrews, Toa Here

8 – 10 years old
1st – Tiani Bello, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Lokelani Diego, Toa Here
3rd – Angelina Ramirez, Toa Here

1st – Anthony Kauwe, Toa Here

11 – 13 years old
1st – Tehani Perkins, Te Vai Ura Nui
2nd – Cassandra Kanoho, Te Vai Ura Nui
3rd – Jaysha Pavao, Toa Here

1st – Koari`i Atkinson-Siola, Polynesian Paradise
2nd – Daylan Kalai, Merahi o Tapiti
3rd – Tobee Kahaola Lee, Polynesian Paradise

14 – 17 years old
1st – Naomi Baldemero, Te Vai Ura Nui
2nd – Kelsye Curry, Merahi o Tapiti
3rd – Ryanne Richardson, Toa Here

1st – Jason Johnson, Toa Here

18 – 20 years old
1st – Raynette Rezentes, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Mahealani Ramos, Merahi o Tapiti
3rd – Amanda Caban, Merahi o Tapiti

21 – 24 years old
1st – Cassie Pira, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Amanda Gutierrez, Polynesian Paradise
3rd – Lilinoe Atkinson, Polynesian Paradise

1st – Quinten Vea, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Olin Caba, Merahi o Tapiti

25 – 34 years old
1st – Kuualoha Kekuaniela, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Keaukaha Carveiro, Polynesian Paradise
3rd – Jamie Ganzagan, Toa Here

1st – John Anduha, Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Aaron Olivarez, Polynesian Paradise

35 – 40 years old
1st – Tanya Andrews, Toa Here
2nd – Debi Vierra, Toa Here

1st – Daniel Sherman, Te Vai Ura Nui
2nd – Corey Sibayan, Merahi o Tapiti

40+ years young
1st – Romy Salvador, Toa Here

Overall Tamahine Soloist – Tiani Bello, Merahi o Tapiti
Overall Tamaroa Soloist – Koari`i Atkinson-Siola
Overall Vahine Soloist – Naomi Baldemero, Te Vai Ura Nui
Overall Tane Soloist – Daniel Sherman, Te Vai Ura Nui

Group Awards
Tamari`i Groups

1st – Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Polynesian Paradise
3rd – Toa Here

1st – Polynesian Paradise
2nd – Toa Here
3rd – Merahi o Tapiti

Best Costume Award:
Polynesian Paradise

Overall Tamari`i Group:
Polynesian Paradise

Junior Groups
1st - Merahi o Tapiti
1st - Merahi O Tapiti

1st – Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Polynesian Paradise

1st – Merahi o Tapiti
2nd – Polynesian Paradise

Best Costume Award
Merahi o Tapiti

Overall Junior Group
Merahi o Tapiti

Photos courtesy of Mike Wine, Island Tours & Activites