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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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Polynesian Cultural Center showcases Coo...

The Polynesian Cultural Center will showcase a group of 17 performers and cultural leaders from the Cook Islands for a six-week run from July 17-August 24, 2017. PCC manager William Mahoni, who has been coordinating the group’s appearance at the Center, said, “We have had a few small groups and special visitors from the Cook Islands over the years, but this will be the first time we will have a group stay for six weeks. We’re excited.” He added that a limited number of Cook Island students have attended neighboring Brigham Young University–Hawaii and worked at the...
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Polynesian Cultural Center stages NFL dr...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   The Polynesian Cultural Center recently participated in a media blitz on the U.S. East coast that included a fine luau food event for 200–300 guests — co-hosted by our partner Polynesian Football Hall of Fame: They invited 200–300 guests to the event on April 27, 2017, during the National Football League draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Meet PCC Pounders Restaurant executive chief Felix Tai: He prepared the upscale luau. He’s why you may want to eat at Pounders the next time you’re in...
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Best-ever Samoan World Fireknife Champio...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up Story and images by Mike Foley   The Polynesian Cultural Center’s 25th annual Samoan World Fireknife Championship special event from May 11-13, 2017, surpassed all expectations. Following two days of men’s preliminary and semifinal competition, junior and intermediate division finals, and a high school Samoan traditional cultural arts festival, it all came down to three thrilling finalists separated by the narrowest margins. The 2017 World Fireknife Champion They competed during a special...
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PCC World Fireknife photo essay

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up Story and images by Mike Foley   The following photo essay depicts selected moments from the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 25th annual Samoan World Fireknife Championship, including the “We Are Samoa” high school traditional Samoan arts festival, from May 11-13, 2017. May 11: Open division preliminary competition On the first evening, 19 “warriors” in the open division (ages 18-and-up) — who came from Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, California, Florida and Tahiti — competed...