Ancient Wailua Today in Unique Story, Dance, Chant

Ancient Wailua Today in Unique Story, Dance, Chant

We are excited to share this new video with you. It is an engaging story of the sacred Wailua (Wailuanuiaho‘ano), on Kauai’s east side, along the Wailua River. Enjoy the exquisite landscape and Hawaii culture, as you immerse yourself in learning about “the royal lineage, mo‘olelo and histories of people who lived there.”

The mesmerizing video, Wailua I Ke Awawa O Na Ali’i, was directed by Nā‘ālehu Anthony, and has been recognized with an “Interpretive Media Preservation Award as an exemplary and impactful interpretation of the significance of a historic site.” The award honors Palikū Documentary Films, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Kehau Kekua, Freckles Smith, and Beverly Muraoka.

More on Beverly Apana Muraoka, featured in today’s video.

Anytime Jeff’s friend Beverly Apana Muraoka is performing in person or elsewhere, he pays  attention. Auntie Bev comes from a century long family history in hula, and she is an undisputed living legend. Beverly and Jeff met years ago, when they served together for an entire year on the Grand Jury. Beverly’s great grandmother was a court dancer during the reign of King David Kalakaua.

The Kuma Hula Bev has been teaching hula since the 1980’s but has been a life-long entertainer from a musical family. She together with her sister played at the Coco Palms for nearly 20 years.

Bev once said, “Hula is the power to remember. It is from the mind and from the heart. “If we can make other people happy, then isn’t our job done?”

History of Wailua, the Valley of the Kings.

Starting in the 13th century through the reign of King Kaumualii, this was the focal point of chiefly power on Kauai. Hawaiian heiau start from the mouth of the Wailua River and go all the way to the summit of Mt.Waialeale. A complex of four remain to this day. There are many legends here of the huaka’i po (Ghost Warriors) walking along these ancient trails at night. Their journey takes them to the top Mount Waiʻaleʻale.

Wailua River State Park (Beat of Hawaii photo above taken there) and the Wailua Complex of Heiaus, are found on the east side of Kauai. The park includes the Wailua River, Hawaii’s only navigable river where in normal times, kayaking, riverboat cruises, motor boating and water skiing are possible.

Watch this video and see Kumu hula and others share their own connection to the area as a spiritual center, a source of inspiration, and a connection to identity, history and wisdom.

Beat of Hawaii photo at Wailua River State Park.

20 thoughts on “Ancient Wailua Today in Unique Story, Dance, Chant”

  1. I read your posts everyday. We were scheduled to spend part of our vacation and celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary on Kauai when all the shelter in place orders went out. We are going to reschedule and are looking forward with excitement to get there as soon as we can. I am an essential worker at our local home improvement store and the thoughts of spending time in Hawaii is what helps me make it through the day. Thank you for the wonderful and informative articles each day.

    1. Hi Cecilia.

      Thanks for being a regular reader and for your comment. We appreciate both.


  2. Awesome, thanks for sharing. History of the islands is so interesting. We only have been to Oahu and Maui but now know where our next trip will be to. Any more interesting history tidbits to give us while we cannot travel.
    thanks from Minnesota,

  3. What an absolutely beautiful representation of culture and history! This would be a necessity for a historical time capsule.

    Mahalo for sharing, Guys!

  4. Mahalo for providing the link to this video. We stayed at the Courtyard a few years ago, and recognized the Heiaus on the grounds there. It was enjoyable to watch, until we can get back to our house on Hawaii Island.

  5. Aloha Guys,

    What a great history lesson! I think everybody should watch that video, it puts a whole new perspective on Wailua, and re-kindles the spirit!
    Stay safe and stay healthy!



  6. Great idea, IMO …

    While the tourist travel to/from the Mainland is DOWN right now (and that’s an understatement) … your recent focus on Hawai’i history — and sea and air travel to/from the Islands — is a good place to focus.

    I’ve traveled the world and my “frequent flyer card” is full as a result of flying in the USN and later being an airline pilot I’ve found that “foreign travel” (at least ‘foreign’ on an limited basis) is much more enjoyable if you have some “historical” knowledge of the places you are visiting.

    Again … whether this was your intent or merely a positive benefit of this “down time” — Hana Maikaʻi

    1. Hi Capt A.

      You have interesting names. 🙂 Thank you.

      Truth be told, we started as a culture oriented site, not related to air travel and deals at all, and the rest just happened organically over time. We’ve always enjoyed this side a lot, and expect there will be more of it coming, in various forms. Stay tuned for some surprises we’ll announce in the next month.


  7. Thank you for sharing. My first trip to Kauai was spring break 1972 (UH Mānoa) we camped on the beach between Lihue Airport and Wailua

  8. Greetings

    Great information. Are the huaka’i po (Ghost Warriors) the same as the Night Marchers?



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