Members of the Board of Ka ʻImi Naʻauao o Hawaiʻi Nei Institute enthusiastically announce two showings to launch the Hawaiian culture organization’s important new film documentary, “Keahualaka,” on Kauaʻi, where this ancient place of significance exists as part of the Kēʻē heiau complex. The first showing, a “red-carpet” invitational premiere for people who were supporters in the challenge of bringing both Ka ʻImi Institute and the restoration and maintenance of Keahualaka into being, will be held on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Līhuʻe Lutheran Church Hall. The public showing will take place at the Kauaʻi Community College (KCC) new theater area on Thursday, Dec. 7. According to retired kumu hula Sally Jo “Keahi” Manea, secretary of Ka ʻImi Institute, the KCC Hawaiian Studies program will assist with access to this venue in the late afternoon. Exact times and details of the events are to be announced.
Beginning in the 1970s, Ka ʻImi Institute’s founder and current President Emeritus Roselle Keliihonipua Bailey held a vision of what might happen if the important archaeological site of Keahualaka were to be released from its then-jungly hold of non-native plants and trees and rededicated to Laka, the Goddess of Hula, the forest and navigation, for which it was originally constructed in prehistoric times. Keahualaka is an important site for all of the Hawaiian islands, beyond Kauaʻi. The work that went into freeing it from its almost forgotten state to its present and future recreated beauty is the focus of the documentary. That journey was documented in bits and pieces that have transpired over the years, via photo and film, including programs by representatives of Japan television and BBC film crews.
The new film brings together the parts as a whole. “Keahualaka” is creatively pieced together, edited and completed by Serge Marcil/4dMedia and includes an in-depth interview of Bailey giving a firsthand account of what transpired after she sought and received permission to undertake the daunting challenge. “Keahualaka” includes archival photographs and segments of archival video footage filmed on the site during workdays and ceremonial events of hula once the ancient hula platform was cleared and rededicated some decades ago.
The hoped-for outcome of Bailey’s vision and the years of maintaining and honoring the archaeological site have come about: Keahualaka and its surrounding area continue to draw people beyond cultural practitioners and haumana hula because of its significance and its beauty. The film celebrates this and underlines Bailey’s charge to the powers-that-be and the present and future keepers of the site to maintain and preserve the site as a continuation of this energy into the future.
DVD copies of “Keahualaka” will be available for purchase at the film’s showings for a nominal price. Proceeds from sales and tax-deductible donations made will fund the ongoing work and mission of the Ka ʻImi Institute, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to seeking and making known “the truth of ancient Hawaiʻi” in a variety of ways. For further information, watch for future media announcements or check updates at www.kaimi.org or Ka ‘Imi Institute’s Facebook page.