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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...
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Cook Islands performers thrill at the Po...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up Several weeks ago, this blog reported on the arrival of 17 performers from the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre for a six-week run from July 17 to August 24, 2017. Everyone was excited — the performers, the Cook Island community around Laie, and the Polynesian Cultural Center; but before they actually took the stage, most of us just didn’t realize how thrilling they are. They’re fantastic, and if you’re in Hawaii or coming during this period, you’ve got to see them in person. First extended Cook...
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PCC celebrates 27th annual Moanikeala Hu...

As it has for the past several years, the Polynesian Cultural Center hosted its annual Moanikeala Hula Festival on February 4, 2017, in a perfect setting — under the monkeypod tree in the Hawaiian Village.   PCC’s current kumu hula [or hula master teacher] Pomaika’i Krueger explained, as it has for the past 27 years, this year’s annual festival honors the legacy of the Center’s first kumu, the late Aunty Sally Moanikeala Wood Naluai who taught “many, many students” until she retired in the 1980s. (She remained active, however, as a hula consultant until she passed...
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PART III – Pearl Harbor and WWII H...

SEGMENT III: Mixing It Up In Laie   In Part 3 of our series of Laie during World War II, we learn from the recollections of Laverne Pukahi, Joe Ah Quin and Gladys Pualoa Ahuna about how the locals entertained themselves, what it was like to be surrounded by numerous military camps and we learn about the great tidal wave of 1946.     One Place, Used In Many Different Ways   Things began to calm down in Laie after the first couple of years, though things were never the same. It was the beginning of the big change that effected how everyone worked, played...
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PART II – Pearl Harbor and WWII Hi...

In Part 2 of our series of La’ie during World War II, we learn from the recollections of Laverne Pukahi Joe Ah Quin and Gladys Pualoa Ahuna how martial law, declared immediately following the Japanese attack that brought the US into World War II, affected the local families of Laie.   BACKGROUND: Life In Laie After Pearl Harbor   After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the army anticipated that the Japanese were going to land there in force. American troops took up positions around the perimeter of all the main islands, . They put up barriers on the beaches to deter landings...
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PART I – Pearl Harbor and WWII His...

La’ie In 1941   The town of La’ie sits on the northeast corner of the small Pacific island of Oahu, just a few minutes from the famous beaches of the North Shore.    La’ie was established in ancient times as a pu’uhonua, which means sanctuary, or place of refuge.   Although pu’uhonua were abolished by King Kamehameha in 1819, local residents have always felt that La’ie maintained its spirit of protection and peace.   This came into play in modern times on December 7, 1941 when Japanese aircraft attacked strategic areas of Oahu. Although history...