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Do Hula Dancers Still Use “Grass Skirts”...

Grass Skirts, or Not?   So-called “grass skirts” have always been a misnomer; however, Hawaiians and other Polynesians have traditionally used strips of natural fibers, barks and other materials to create various skirts and adornment. The purpose of such skirts, beyond decoration, was — and is — always to accentuate the dancer’s movements.     For example, strips of the inner wild hibiscus bark — which Hawaiians and Tahitians call hau, and Samoans and Tongans call fau — are still collected today, cleaned and bleached in salt water, dried and then strung together...
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How to Rain-Proof a Samoan Fale

Rain Proofed Living       Q: What did the Samoans who traditionally lived in open-sided fale or houses do when it rained heavily?   A: Centuries ago the old Samoans figured out a way to weave a series of pola or “blinds” made from coconut-leaf fronds that were layered side-to-side and tied together with ‘afa — sennit cord braided from coconut husk fibers. These were then hung from the inner, upper edges of the fale and could be lowered as needed to block most of the rain, then raised again. Often only the pola on the side of the fale where the prevailing...
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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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Roasting Turkey, Polynesian Style!

   Last week I introduced how much turkey is loved here on the islands.  This week I would like to showcase how that plays out during Thanksgiving.   Roast turkey is very fine, indeed.  But a turkey baked in an Imu (an in-ground pit) is a delicacy not to be missed.    Unfortunately, most of us do not have the means nor the expertise to dig a hole in the backyard to smoke our turkey in  for hours at a time.      In my attempt to bring the islands to my Thanksgiving meal, I have personally experienced how “not” to smoke a turkey.  It’s quite...
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Turkey Tail – Forget the Rest, the...

Sign up to receive our weekly Eat Polynesia! newsletters            Email Marketing You Can Trust Yes, you saw right. Turkey Tail. I’m telling ya, you’re going to love it!  I discovered this little delicacy back when I was a little gal oh so many years ago and from that day on, I would beg, borrow or cry a river of tears to be the one who got this part of the bird on Thanksgiving Day. The turkey has a long, rich history not only in the States, but in such far-away places as Samoa.  I’m not talking about the whole turkey, mind you…..just the...
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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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Kolipoki shares Tonga memories, insights...

        About 60 years ago it took a young Mormon missionary from Idaho more than three months to travel from the Intermountain West to the remote northern Tongan island of Niuatoputapu. There, Elder John H. Groberg — known as Kolipoki, the Tongan transliteration of his last name — and his companion, the late Feki Pō‘uha, overcame a series of amazing situations and challenges that eventually became the subject of the feature film The Other Side of Heaven.   Elder Groberg, now an emeritus General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...
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PFHOF Announces Its Class of 2017 Induct...

  The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame — whose permanent exhibit is located near the front entrance of the Polynesian Cultural Center — has unveiled its Class of 2017, that includes one inductee with particularly strong ties to the Polynesian Cultural Center:     ■  Junior Ah You (Samoan): DL, Kahuku High, Arizona State U.; drafted by Patriots in 1972, 13 seasons with Montreal Alouettes; also Chicago Blitz, New Orleans Breakers and the Arizona Outlaws.   ■  Riki Ellison (first Māori to play in the NFL): L, USC; San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Raiders.  ...
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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...