New ha’a to be unveiled at Mauna ‘Ala

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Photo by Shayna Ho

Tyler Harry, Manaloa Aikala, and Pololū Nakanelua show their pride throw the brand new haʻa written by Nakanelua. The haʻa will be unveiled at the seniors' trip to Mauna ʻAla on May 23.

By Shayna Ho, staff writer

After many weeks of practice, the senior men will perform a ha’a composed by their very own Pololū Nakanelua at Mauna ‘Ala on May 23, 2013, in the presence of headmasters, principals, teachers, and students from their sister campuses, Kapālama and Kea’au.

“The ha’a is mainly thanking our chiefs that came before us. It’s a chant to ask our ancestors for the ability or the mana, the spiritual strength, to bring up ourselves and stand up for what has been given to us — for the work that has been done in the past — so that we can live in the present today,” said senior Pololū Nakanelu, composer of the ha’a.

For Hawaiians, the haʻa is one aspect of a balanced life; however, for Pololū, it is much more.

“It means a lot to me because when we go to Mauna ‘Ala, as seniors, to visit our brother and sister campuses, we’ve been known to share a lot of the Hina energy, which is a very gentle, more womanly, feminine, very calm energy and we’re represented very well in that. But like Hawaiians in their duality, in their intellect, we think a lot more of balance. With every Hina, there should to be a , so I would like to provide that action, that animosity, that tenacity, that counterpart, to show that Maui does have that. But not just to show it, but to show the kids in our school that they can actually possess it,” said Nakanelua.

After weeks of time, effort, and thought put into the ha’a, Nakanelua hopes that the men of the class of 2013 will not be the only ones to perform it. He hopes that this ha’a will be perpetuated through other students who share the same passion as them.

“I’ve been teaching it to my fellow classmate,s and I was trying to figure out how to pass it on. Then it just dawned on me, why not have kids from classes below come into our practice. So this guy, Rusty Hue Sing, a close friend of mine from wrestling, decided to come in one day and practice on his own,” Nakanelua said.

Hue Sing was the only non-senior at a number of practices, and he came in on his own time because he shares Nakanelua’s passion.

“I feel it’s important because it is expressing our culture through chant but with a group of men expressing their emotions through the ha’a. [And] yes, I do want to carry on the ha’a. In the same way the seniors are this year, for when I’m senior, but also for the football team,” he said.