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Tongan Society

      One of the beautiful aspects of Tongan Society is their emphasis on sharing. Tongans share stories, they share resources and they share their blessings with joy and thanksgiving.   Everyone has a role to play unique to their individual status in Tongan Society. It is based on the concept of sharing the blessings afforded you with those you are responsible for.  This tradition comes from the belief that you don’t grow up by yourself, you don’t successfully accomplish tasks on your own, and you do not find happiness on your own.  A successful Tongan...
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Laughing To the Beat: Tongan Drumming

      Laughing to the beat: Tongan drumming   For many years Polynesian Cultural Center visitors from around the world have been enjoying the humorous attempts by audience “volunteers” to play like islanders do during the Tongan Village’s drumming show: There’s just something about watching the first time they try to mimic the antics of a muscular Tongan that cracks everyone up, every time.   “From the beginning years ago, that’s the response we expected. The show has held up very well,” said Semisi Fakatava, PCC’s Tongan cultural ambassador. He has worked...
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Tongan Lashing Expert Brings Skills to P...

    Tongan Lashing Expert  As contractors near completing the PCC’s newly renovated Tongan Village, a cultural expert in lalava or traditional sennit-cord lashing has been brought in to add some culturally distinctive finishing touches.   For the many centuries before Tongans and other Polynesians obtained metal from the outside world, they used miles and miles of sennit — kafa in Tongan, a strong flexible cordage created by braiding coconut-husk fibers together — to lash various parts of their wooden houses, canoes and other items together.   Thicker cords and...
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Tonga Tapa

  One of my favorite activities to see at the Polynesian Cultural Center is the tapa making demonstration in Tongan. It’s not only fun to watch but very educational at the same time. I just think it’s amazing that cloth can be made out of the bark of a tree. As I Japanese guide I had the opportunity of introducing this special art of making tapa to people that come from around the world.     Tapa making is one of the most common heard sounds in Tonga, and a big part of Tongan culture. Its rhythmic sounds of women making Tapa is heard from morning till night, throughout...
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Pounding Poi

    Poi pounding flavors our hula event   The PCC’s Hawaiian Village routinely offers visitors the opportunity to sample poi, or even try their hand at pounding boiled taro into the famous Hawaiian staple food; but during the 26th annual Moanikeala festival this year a Hawaiian man who virtually grew up in the village shared a special poi pounding opportunity.   As a young boy, Lono Logan was featured in thousands of early PCC pictures when his grandparents, Jubilee and Eugenia Logan, served as the first leaders in the village. “I was looked after by...
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26th Moanikeala Hula Festival

    PCC puts on 26th annual Moanikeala Hula Festival   Following a brief Hawaiian flag-raising ceremony, village “chief” Kaipo Manoa explained the festival honors the PCC’s original kumu hula, Aunty Sally Moanikeala Wood Naluai.   “I was really surprised at the spirit of Aunty Sally that was here. I think there were some things that were done spontaneously because everyone could feel her spirit here,” he said. “For example, I liked the way Aunty Joanie just started dancing. That was a once-in-a-lifetime treat.”   The Polynesian Cultural Center...