Baby kumu hula plays ipu like a pro


Merrie Monarch is over, but not for this little guy!

One-year-old Jeaven Maeva is seen playing his ipu accompanied by his beautiful hula dancer Piha. 

While most little boys his age like to bang anything they get their tiny hands on, Jeaven Maeva just can’t get enough of his ipu.

“I guess it was something he just took to on his own,” said Julian Maeva, Jeaven’s dad.  “We didn’t really try to give him it or anything like that. He just fell in love with it.”

“I feel like most 1-year-olds want to play with fire trucks and things but no he wants the ipu,” said Moana Maeva, Jeaven’s mom. 

Not surprisingly both mom and dad dance hula for Ke Kai O Kahiki under the direction of La’akea Perry. 

They say Jeaven started attending their practices when he was just a couple months old.

“He would always sit by kumu’s side, and he would always admire him,” said Jeaven’s mom, Moana. “At first he would just beat it, and we thought aww that’s cute. But eventually we started to notice consistent beat pattern, and we thought wow he’s actually doing a pa’i. It was really fun. Then now he will come home sometimes, and  he’ll be like ipu. Ha ha.”

Last week Jeaven attended Merrie Monarch to watch his father Julian compete.

According to mom, that only served to stoke his desire to play even more.

“It was so fun because when the boys went on stage to perform he was trying to crawl out of my arms like this pretty much,” Jeaven’s mom Moana said. “He wanted to get on the stage but I said no no no you can’t get up there.”

When it comes to chanting, mom says it’s been most jibberish until recently.

While it’s far from perfect she says Jeaven is clearly picking up the concept of that skill.

If you want to follow his progress, he can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @kumujeaven

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