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How To Make Coconut Oil And Why Fijians ...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     “The [coconut] oil is something we still use until today in different parts of Fiji for a lot of things in our culture — cooking, body lotion, medicine and healing wounds among them. For example, our people mixed it with charcoal and used it to help tattooing heal faster,” said Kalivati Volavola, the Fijian cultural ambassador for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Volavola, who is from Nabitu in the Tailevu district of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island, first came to Laie in 2007 to attend...
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“Huki” costumes take a year-...

  Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up       Pictured above: The final versions of three Huki costume designs Roger Ewens created after consulting extensively with PCC cultural specialists and other members of the Huki committee: (left-right) a 1940s-era Hawaiian hula outfit (with ti-leaf skirt). An unusual blue Fijian finalé outfit, and a more “organic” look for a historical Tongan king costume.   Since the Polynesian Cultural Center staged the grand premiere of Huki: One ‘ohana sharing aloha on August 18, 2018,...
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Polynesian Cultural Center’s new “Huki” ...

  Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up       The Polynesian Cultural Center will officially launch the grand premiere of our new Huki: One ‘ohana sharing aloha canoe celebration on August 18, 2018. (‘Ohana means “family” in Hawaiian.) We present Huki each afternoon the Center is open at 2:30 on the freshwater lagoon near the Samoan Village. Huki is included in all PCC admission tickets. Huki succeeds Rainbows of Paradise canoe show The Center actually began a “soft” launch of Huki on July 12, 2018, when it replaced the...
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Cook Island performers return to Polynes...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up           For the second consecutive year, the government of the Cook Islands has sent a performing group from its National Arts Theater and leaders to appear at the Polynesian Cultural Center through July 17, 2018. “We’re so excited to have them back again this year,” said Delsa Atoa Moe, PCC Vice President of Cultural Presentations. “It’s like a family reunion because we know and love them. We know they’re not just going to be a boost to our program, but also to our...
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New Kauhola Art Gallery features Polynes...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     With the opening of the new Kauhola Art Gallery at the Polynesian Cultural Center, (if they didn’t know before they arrived) our visitors quickly learn how artistically inclined some PCC employees are in fine and traditional Polynesian arts. The Kauhola Art Gallery, which will hold its grand opening on July 27, 2018, is located in the PCC Welcome Center, across from Prime Dining venue. Its hours are from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.   The backstory PCC manager William Mahoni, a fine artist...
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We Are Samoa Festival 2018 showcases tal...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     Pacific Theater sold out Hundreds of students from the Polynesian clubs at five public high schools on Oahu — joined by dozens of students from other high schools — and an amalgam of students from various private high schools participated in the annual We Are Samoa Festival at the Polynesian Cultural Center on May 12, 2018, in the Pacific Theater. Meanwhile, thousands of parents, friends and others in the audience sold out the theater. In short, it was memorable, fun and fantastic. In...
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Jeralee Galea’i wins second interm...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     One by one on the second night of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 26th annual World Fireknife Championship on May 11, 2018, each of the tamaiti (children 6-11) and teenage (12-17) “warriors” stepped onto a specially constructed stage in the Hale Aloha Theater to share an impressive range of skill and talent with Samoan fire knives and vie for the titles in their respective divisions. After the flames died out, the drumming quieted, and championship awards were presented, six open...
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World Fireknife Champion 2018 spins his ...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     Hale Motu’apuaka, former junior and intermediate champ, takes 1st place in 2018 event ■ Hale Motu’apuaka— a 2-time former junior division champion (ages 6-11) in 2008 and 2011, and a 3-time former intermediate champion (ages 12-17) winner from 2014-2016, was awarded first place in this year’s 2018 open division title of the World Fireknife Championship held at the Polynesian Cultural Center. After two nights of preliminary competition, the finale was held on May 12th with the 3...
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Three tasty additions to PCC’s Hukilau M...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     EATING is a great part of our Hawaii-Polynesian culture. Because it’s almost impossible to understate the appeal of tasty treats and snacks here, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) recently added three new options at our Hukilau Marketplace that we know you will enjoy: Penny’s Malasadas comes to PCC With the opening of the brightly colored Penny’s Malasadas’ food truck on the Hauula side of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s parking lot, Portuguese-style malasadas are now regularly...
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Seamstresses work magic behind the scene...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     Creating thousands of costumes and uniforms Most Polynesian Cultural Center visitors probably don’t realize that behind the scenes over a dozen dedicated ladies create thousands of beautiful costumes and unique uniforms for our employees and replace them from time to time. The hard-working seamstress team works out of an air-conditioned room near the PCC’s back gate. They currently consists of two full-time employees, Seamstress Department supervisor Fatai Feinga and her assistant Elizza...
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The “new” Polynesian Cultural Center

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   …or rather, the re-new-ed PCC   The Polynesian Cultural Center has been open now for 55 years, and in addition to its age and the routine wear-and-tear from working with many millions of visitors, Hawaii’s beautiful natural environment can also wreak havoc on the Center’s upkeep. For example, “the “life cycle of air conditioners is pretty short here,” said Jerome Uluave, PCC vice president of Facilities Management (pictured at left in the photo above). Uluave, a Laie native, first worked at...
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Hui Ho’oulu Aloha: PCC revives hula hala...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   When Hui Ho’oulu Aloha performed in the recent 28th annual Moanikeala Hula Festival on February 3, 2018, it was the first time in more than 20 years that the Polynesian Cultural Center’s own hula halau [school] had appeared in public. [Grammatical note: In English, we say hula halau; in Hawaiian, it’s halau hula.] PCC cultural performance specialist and kumu hula [hula teacher or master] Pomaika’i Krueger pointed out the historic origins of Hui Ho’oulu Aloha when he introduced the halau during...
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PCC presents 28th annual Moanikeala Hula...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   The Polynesian Cultural Center continued to honor its original kumu hula or hula master on Feb. 3, 2018, in the Hawaiian Village during the PCC’s 28th annual Moanikeala Hula Festival. Haumana (students) and kumu from 11 halau (schools, in this case) — including three from Japan — met that afternoon under the monkeypod tree in the Hawaiian Village to celebrate the life and contributions of the Center’s first kumu hula. They also came to enjoy hula and Hawaiian culture, including an arts and...
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Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, PCC ti...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     Starting about five years ago, the Polynesian Cultural Center partnered with the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame to host its permanent home in Laie, Hawaii. Today, the PFHOF is a beautiful addition to the PCC’s Hukilau Marketplace, and is open free to the public. The PFHOF’s enshrined its Class of 2018 there during special ceremonies on January 20, 2018. Still, some people wonder about the ties between the PCC and the PFHOF. Origins of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Former...
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PFHOF enshrines Class of 2018 at PCC

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) inducted its Class of 2018 during an enshrinement program at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Jan. 20, 2018. FYI, the Center partnered with the PFHOF five years ago to host the hall of fame’s permanent gallery, which is located in the Hukilau Marketplace and is open free to the public. The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 The five members of the PFHOF Class of 2018 enshrined that weekend include: >> The late Herman “Buddy”...
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Polynesian football legends: More than ‘...

Warrior heritage helps Polynesian athletes There’s a line of thinking — a good one, it turns out — that modern Polynesians have channeled aspects of their ancient warrior culture and formidable physical prowess into becoming outstanding athletes. Young Polynesians now excel in a wide variety of games and sports; and their parents and grandparents have been demonstrating this warrior-skills blend particularly well for over a century on rugby pitches, and starting about 80 years in American football. Today, can you imagine getting tackled by an amazingly quick,...
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Uncle David Hannemann ‘graduates’ ...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up       The Polynesian Cultural Center honored Tausilinu’u David Hannemann, 92, a Samoan with German heritage, as its first full-time paid employee and most-senior living associate when he retired — again — during a special “graduation” ceremony on December 28, 2017. Four generations of his family, friends and PCC colleagues marked the occasion with Polynesian chanting, gift-giving, memories, praises and, of course, a feast.   ‘Uncle David,’ the perfect Polynesian host   The...
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Two new VP’s at Polynesian Cultura...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   The Polynesian Cultural Center has recently named two new vice presidents: Jarod Hester, VP of Finance and CFO Hester joined the PCC about four years ago as the Financial Controller. In his new position, he succeeded Douglas F. Lyons, who was temporarily “on loan” for several years from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints financial administration offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has returned there. Hester, who was born in England but raised in New Zealand, had previously worked...
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Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announc...

  Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   PFHOF names 2018 inductees The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame — which in partnership with the Polynesian Cultural Center has established a permanent “home” that is open free to the public — recently announced the professional player and contributor “class of 2018.”       In October the PFHOF selection committee announced they had picked five members of the Class of 2018 from a list of 18 finalists. The four professional player inductees are: Herman “Buddy” Pi’ikei Clark...
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PFHOF names 2017 college player of the y...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame has selected Washington State University Defensive Lineman Hercules Mata’afa as the 2017 recipient of the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding Polynesian college football player who epitomizes great ability and integrity. The Associated Press named Mata’afa — a redshirt junior who prepped at Lahainaluna, Maui — its Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The AP also named him its...
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Orgills report on Latter-day Saint missi...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   More than 500 new “sons and daughters” About four years after leaving Laie, former Polynesian Cultural Center president and CEO Von D. Orgill and his wife, Sherry, returned for a special PCC team meeting in the Hawaiian Journey Theater on November 2, 2017. They reported on their service as president and “mother” of more than 500 Mormon missionaries in the California-Irvine mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2013 to 2016. President Orgill served as PCC’s...
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The Polynesian Cultural Center legacy is...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   Polynesian Cultural Center ‘ohana [family] Hawaii is famous for its aloha spirit. Many experience the genuine warmth of the local people, to the extent they begin to feel like ‘ohana — family. That definitely happens a lot at the Polynesian Cultural Center. But what they may not realize in a day’s visit with us, or even on repeat visits, is how close our employees feel toward each other, and how much they cherish their PCC associations and experiences as the years go by.     When...
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Polynesian Cultural Center receives USA ...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up   PCC wins USA Today “10 Best” Award USA Today readers recently voted the Polynesian Cultural Center as the number-one “best Hawaii attraction”   PCC selected from a list of 10 Hawaii attractions   The readers selected the Center the #1 from a list of 10 top attractions in the Aloha State that had been pre-nominated by a blue-ribbon panel of travel industry and media representatives. The Hawaii attractions nominated, and their order of finish in the recent survey included:...
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Steel guitar originates and lives on in ...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     The steel guitar legacy begins in Laie The Polynesian Cultural Center has a unique connection to the Hawaiian steel guitar: Its inventor was born in Laie, home of the PCC, in 1874. Young Joseph Kekukuupenaokamehamehakanaiaupuni Apuakehau, who shortened his stage name to Kekuku, invented the steel guitar in 1885. It is sometimes said he laid a guitar across his lap and moved the back of metal comb across the frets to create the first distinctive Hawaiian steel guitar sounds. Almost 140...
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Volunteer Michael Theobald remembers pre...

Elder Michael and Sister Shauna Theobald have recently completed 13 months as senior training missionaries at the Polynesian Cultural Center and returned to their home in Orem, Utah. While volunteering here this time, they conducted leadership training for full-time staff and helped with orientation for new PCC employees. He had also previously conducted management training at the Center on eight other occasions. A worldwide trainer  It’s an understatement to say that Elder Theobald is a highly skilled trainer. He graduated from BYU in 1976 with a master’s degree in the...
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PCC pioneer Cy Bridges receives chanter ...

The Moanalua Gardens Foundation, which sponsors the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, presented widely respected Hawaiian culture expert and Polynesian Cultural Center retiree Cy Bridges with its inaugural Nāmakahelu Oli master chanter’s award at the Iolani Palace bandstand in Honolulu on July 16, 2017, during its 40th anniversary event. The award cited Bridges, who retired from the Center in 2014 after more than 45 years of service, for his “important contributions…as a keeper of our oli [chants] and culture to the preservation of this ancient art form.” As...
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Visit Laie: New website explores Oahu...

Sign up for our Polynesian Cultural Center newsletters:  Email Sign Up     With the growing strength of the Hawaii tourism market over the past several years and the recent completion of a new hotel here, a hui or organization of businesses and visitor-related activities in-and-around Laie has come together to support a new destination website that consolidates key information for those who may increasingly think of our community as more than a one-day experience. This beautifully illustrated new website is found at: Visitlaie.com     One convenient...
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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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PCC Samoan fire knives vs. batons

Former baton majorette looks at Samoan fire knives A former baton-twirling majorette shared several interesting observations after watching the Polynesian Cultural Center’s recent Samoan World Fireknife Championships in May 2017. Sister Sue Ann Long, 73, is a senior volunteer missionary from Provo, Utah, who is helping to digitize the PCC’s archives. She perfected that skill after working as an administrative assistant for the director of LDS Philanthropies (LDSP) for 13 years, and was then assigned to digitally compile LDSP’s 40-year archives. LDSP oversees...
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Special artisans at PCC’s Te Manah...

ATTENTION, Maori culture fans! The Polynesian Cultural Center’s Aotearoa Village has invited an amazing slate of special artisans from New Zealand to our biannual Te Manahua Festival. The event will be held: in the PCC’s Aotearoa Village from July 13-15, 2017. Rahira Makekau, Te Manahua coordinator and PCC Maori cultural performance specialist, explained that this year’s festival goes beyond competitions among various groups performing kapa haka, or traditional Maori action songs and dances. Whakataetae and Te Manahua origins “Te Manahua means the fruition of our mana...
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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...