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Steel guitar originates and lives on in ...

The steel guitar legacy begins in Laie The Polynesian Cultural Center has a unique connection to the Hawaiian steel guitar: Its inventor was born in Laie, home of the PCC, in 1874. Young Joseph Kekukuupenaokamehamehakanaiaupuni Apuakehau, who shortened his stage name to Kekuku, invented the steel guitar in 1885. It is sometimes said he laid a guitar across his lap and moved the back of metal comb across the frets to create the first distinctive Hawaiian steel guitar sounds. Almost 140 years later, most players now use a steel bar about three inches long to create the...
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Volunteer Michael Theobald remembers pre...

Elder Michael and Sister Shauna Theobald have recently completed 13 months as senior training missionaries at the Polynesian Cultural Center and returned to their home in Orem, Utah. While volunteering here this time, they conducted leadership training for full-time staff and helped with orientation for new PCC employees. He had also previously conducted management training at the Center on eight other occasions. A worldwide trainer  It’s an understatement to say that Elder Theobald is a highly skilled trainer. He graduated from BYU in 1976 with a master’s degree in the...
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PCC pioneer Cy Bridges receives chanter ...

The Moanalua Gardens Foundation, which sponsors the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, presented widely respected Hawaiian culture expert and Polynesian Cultural Center retiree Cy Bridges with its inaugural Nāmakahelu Oli master chanter’s award at the Iolani Palace bandstand in Honolulu on July 16, 2017, during its 40th anniversary event. The award cited Bridges, who retired from the Center in 2014 after more than 45 years of service, for his “important contributions…as a keeper of our oli [chants] and culture to the preservation of this ancient art form.” As...
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Visit Laie: New website explores Oahu...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     With the growing strength of the Hawaii tourism market over the past several years and the recent completion of a new hotel here, a hui or organization of businesses and visitor-related activities in-and-around Laie has come together to support a new destination website that consolidates key information for those who may increasingly think of our community as more than a one-day experience. This beautifully illustrated new website is found at: Visitlaie.com     One convenient...
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Polynesian Cultural Center pioneer: Pato...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   With all the attention recently focused on Cook Islanders currently appearing for six weeks at the Polynesian Cultural Center, it seems fitting that we introduce you to Patoa Benioni. The first Cook Islander at the PCC More than 50 years ago, Patoa — who was born in Aitutaki in 1941 but spent most of his boyhood on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands — played a key role as an original Polynesian Cultural Center performer. Today, almost everybody calls him Patoa or Uncle Patoa, but like some...