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Teaching Hawaiian

  Meet Nā’auao: Hawaiian language teacher, composer, chanter   “I’ve always been interested in the Hawaiian language. I heard it growing up and knew vocabulary, but I didn’t really speak it. My grandfather, my dad’s dad, was a native speaker, but he passed away when I was a baby,” said Terry Nā’auao Pane’e, PCC assistant Hawaiian Village manager.   But that was years ago. After graduating from Kamehameha School in 1980, Pane’e attended BYU–Hawaii, began working at the Polynesian Cultural Center and also began his serious studies of the Hawaiian language: He took...
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Wedding Ceremonies at Ancient Marae Temp...

    Tahitian Maraes are open temples that were used for sacred ceremonies. First fruits and best catch of the day were taken to the Marae as offerings for the gods.  The only weddings performed within a Marae would be for the daughter of the chief or other socially significant individuals. Chiefs from other districts were welcomed into the Marae.   Wedding ceremonies in the Marae reflect lineage, fidelity and commitment. During the ceremony, the priest will ask the bride and the groom individually, “Eta” or “will you ever leave”? The answer from both the bride and...
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Loko’i’a: Hawaiian Aquacultu...

  Ever wanted to catch fish without actually fishing? Hawaiians created an ingenious way to farm fish in their natural habitat by building an enclosed section of ocean.  There they raised fish, somewhat like raising animals on a farm. Loko’i’a or fishponds were made by building a large stone wall with a gate.   Smaller fish were able to swim in to feed, protected from larger predators which were too big to fit through the gate.  Soon the smaller fish had grown too large to exit through the gate. It was then the simple task of lawai’a or fishermen to...
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Samoan Gardening

      Before Europeans arrived in our islands, Samoans typically subsisted on farming and fishing. Breadfruit, banana, taro, giant taro and, of course, coconuts are the most common food crops, and are still cultivated today.  When trading with other islands became more common, pigs and chickens were added to the diet.   A Samoan chief or Matai attains his status based on food production, preparation and eating within his village. The matai and his council (fono) assign tasks and quotas to villagers, ordering the number of taro plants to be grown, which men are...
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Polynesian Royalty

  We love our Polynesian royalty     Most people in modern Hawaii cherish the many reminders of our aloha state’s royal heritage. For example, we’re the only state graced by a royal palace — Iolani Palace in Honolulu; the Kamehameha Schools are the sole beneficiary of the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s estate; and there are numerous other places, streets, buildings, institutions and other things in Hawaii that help us recall our historic royalty.   Hundreds of Hawaiians and others recently went to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu to see a new display — the...
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Greetings! Hongi Style!

  I continue to be impressed and have the highest respect for the “hongi”, a traditional Maori greeting in New Zealand. There is something about it that is so different than the formal handshake in modern western culture, or even a traditional kiss on the cheek.   It is done by pressing one’s nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person. It is not meant as a means to ‘smell’ those you greet. There is much more in the exchange of a “hongi”.   Here, former Chief of the Maori Village, George Kaka, exchanges a hongi with the President and...