By Léo Azambuja
Koke‘e State Park once again became the stage for the reenactment of Queen Emma’s voyage from Lawa‘i Valley to the Kilohana Lookout in January 1871.
Nalani Ka‘auwai Brun embodied Queen Emma at the 27th Annual Eo e Emalani i Alaka‘i on Oct. 10. On her own words, from the festival’s program:
“How does one begin a journey to find the inner strength to portray one who is held in such high regard by not only myself but also by the people of Hawai‘i? There are so many things she excelled at that are dear to my heart: reading, concert singing, and humanitarianism. She also persevered through so much sadness and turned to nature to heal herself and renew her soul. It is her original vision of serving the Hawaiian people and ensuring their well-being in both spirit an health that I find most dear to my own heart: for without a healthy Hawaiian people, there cannot be a healthy Hawai‘i. Mahalo to our mo‘i wahine who like Hui o Laka, saw a path for the people that needed to be cleared.”
The festival was sponsored by Hui o Laka, Koke‘e Museum, with support from many volunteers, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the County of Kaua‘i, the Kekaha Host Community and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.