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Like the Maori: Thin the Veil Between Yo...

    Last week, I visited the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Maori village. I wanted to learn more about the taiaha (Maori weapon) and its significance to Maori culture. After learning from the natives, I joined the tourists in watching their cultural presentation. Just like every other time that I have watched this show, it was exceptional. From the singing, chanting, storytelling, and the acknowledging of ancestors and military veterans, I felt enthused. I was particularly moved by the spirit of their performance through one of the female performers. Though she...
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Eat Polynesia! Banana Guava Pie

    In my last post about Chocolate Haupia Pie, I promised more recipes for the pie making season. Today’s pie of choice is another pie for the warm weather months of summer; it’s a pie that’s bursting with fresh tropical tastes and the tangy flavor of tropical fruits: the Banana Guava Pie. As the name of the pie implies, the pie itself has two main ingredients: bananas and guava. Guava is a fruit that can be found all throughout the world, in virtually any tropical climate, including the islands of Polynesia. It grows so easily and in such...
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Eat Polynesia! Chocolate Haupia Pie

    Pie, pie, pie! Everybody loves pie, and as the month of August comes to an end, fall begins and brings with it prime pie eating season. Obviously, pie is delicious at any time of year. There’s pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie, and a host of others that can all be enjoyed regardless of the season, but there’s something special about our pie in Hawaii. Chocolate Haupia Pie combines two of our favorite flavors–chocolate and coconut!     Maybe it’s that pie usually accompanies large family gatherings like the kind that happen...
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Eat Polynesia! Haupia, A Sweet Coconut D...

Everyone loves a good luau. What’s not to love? Traditionally used by Hawaiians to celebrate things like the launch of a new canoe, a wedding, or a victory at war, luaus usually had hundreds, if not thousands of people in attendance. Traditional and modern day luaus share several characteristics that make the experience a joyous one for anyone involved. Every luau sports an exciting combination of music, dancing, the presence of friends and family, and, of course, a virtually limitless amount of food. One of these foods is a dessert called haupia, a dessert made...
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2014 Iosepa Summer Launch

    The Iosepa — the Brigham Young University–Hawaii/Polynesian Cultural Center’s Hawaiian sailing canoe —left its permanent home berth in the PCC’s Hawaiian Village on August 51, 2014, and is currently moored off Hukilau Beach in Laie, in preparation for its next open-ocean sail.   The Iosepa is a majestic 57-foot single-masted wa’a kaulua or traditionally shaped, single-masted, twin-hulled Hawaiian sailing canoe that was crafted just yards away from its PCC home out of seven large tropical hardwood logs in 2001. Those logs were imported from Fiji, as no...
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Ta Moko: Maori Tattooing

      Ever since I read Keri Hulme’s The Bone People, I have been fascinated with Maori symbols and tattoos, particularly the meanings and significance behind each line of the work. The facial tattoos kinda scared me, but the patterns were still captivating.    According to Robbie Whitmore, “The head [in ancient tradition] was considered the most sacred part of the body . . . . All high-ranking Māori were tattooed, and those who went without tattoos were seen as persons of no social status.”  The Moko is like an ID, including the wearer’s rank, status,...
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Eat Polynesia! Bananas in Coconut Sauce

    Last weekend, as part of our weekly date night, my wife and I attended the Gateway Buffet at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The buffet is located in a large and beautiful dining hall, decorated with beautiful dark woods and a huge mural of the native Hawaiian people graciously welcoming visitors from nations from around the world. While the the interior of the buffet is beautiful, however, let’s get to the important part of the evening: the food! I’ve lived in Hawaii for a while now, long  enough to have experienced a good portion of the foods...
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A Warrior’s Haka

Aotearoa, “the land of the long white cloud,” is more commonly known to its visitors as New Zealand. Its beautiful mountains, fields, rivers and streams boast more than just being the filming place of the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy; they are home to a proud and beautiful people: the Māori. Māori culture is steeped in a rich and distinctive history of crafts, mythology, and customs. At its onset, the Māori civilization was based almost entirely on agriculture; as time went on, however, a unique and powerful warrior class emerged. The Māori warriors were large,...