delete

The Polynesian Cultural Center pays homa...

We pay tribute to the late William H. Cravens (1941-2019), who served as the on-site leader at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) from 1975 to 1983, and during that time became our first Polynesian president. A brief biography  President Cravens, or Bill as many around here called him, was born on July 7, 1941, in Vallejo, California (his other seven siblings were born in Honolulu), and died on September 2 in San Diego. His mother, Noanoa Soliai, was the daughter of Pinemua Soliai, a paramount chief in American Samoa. His father, Jack Cravens from Missouri, was a career...
delete

2019 Moanikeala Hula Festival – a ...

  People all over the world love Hawaiian hula dancing, and serious hula dancers have much respect for their kumu (teachers). Haumana or students join halau (schools) based on the styles, traditions and reputation of the kumu. In Hawaii, it’s common for some haumana to remain in the same halau for years, ranging from keiki (children) to kupuna (elders). Hula knowledge is traditionally passed down over years of rigorous training and performances. Kumu learned the same way from their kumu— who might be someone in their own family lines. Even if not, kumu often trace...
delete

Why Mauna Kea protectors are supported b...

Many of our visitors wonder what the Ku Kia’i Mauna demonstrations on Mauna Kea are about and what the Polynesian Cultural Center’s position is on this issue. President and CEO Alfred Grace met with PCC employees on July 25, 2019, in the Hawaiian Journey Theater to explain why the Center is supporting Hawaiians who are currently and peacefully demonstrating near the summit of Mauna Kea against building a new 30-meter astronomical telescope there. Because of the significance of this issue, the Center’s Ha: Breath of Life (night show) cast members share a brief...
delete

Tongan proverbs shows family devotion

Throughout history people all over the world have used proverbs — a general statement of truth or advice drawn from observations of surroundings or actions. For example, one of the best-known English-language proverbs, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” means images usually help a person understand emotions and/or messages better than written or spoken explanations. Well, it turns out Polynesians also particularly love proverbs using their own respective languages and references. Here is an example from Tonga that you might find interesting: Tonga: ‘The almond tree...
delete

The Polynesian Cultural Center’s most sy...

The Maori whare tupuna or ancestral meeting house that dominates the Aotearoa Village is perhaps the most symbolic structure in the entire Polynesian Cultural Center. ‘These buildings memorialize great leaders’ Kim Makekau, Aotearoa Village manager, recently explained several key points he hopes all Polynesian Cultural Center visitors learn about the whare tupuna: ■ “Each ancestral meeting house, in the main, is named after a significant common ancestor of that particular tribal area. That’s where you want to start from. These buildings memorialize great leaders. Their...
delete

Hawai’i students keep Samoan tradi...

  ‘We Are Samoa’  Hundreds of Hawai’i high school students practiced for months to learn traditional Samoan customs, songs, dances and household chores so they could share them with several thousand parents and fans on Saturday, May 11, 2019, during the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 27th annual We Are Samoa festival. The festival is held each year in conjunction with the PCC’s World Fireknife Championships, which has its own tradition of being a don’t-miss event. As in years past, the entire Pacific Theater was sold out. Many more people from around...
delete

2019 Fireknife: Women, junior, and inter...

Along with the men’s championship, the Polynesian Cultural Center’s annual World Fireknife Championships includes three other divisions of competition — the women’s open, juniors (ages 6-11), and intermediates (ages 12-17), were held in conjunction with the We Are Samoa high school cultural arts festival. All these events were held this year from May 8-11, 2019, in La’ie, Hawaii. Here are the winners in the other three fireknife divisions: Congratulations to our 2019 women’s World Fireknife Champion Jeralee Galea’i of Laie, Oahu. Judges selected her as one of...
delete

Penesa wins 2019 World Fireknife Champio...

A panel of judges selected Falaniko Penesa of Puipa’a, Upolu, Samoa, as the 2019 World Fireknife champion. The finalists competed on May 11 during a sold-out performance of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s famous HA: Breath of Life evening show. Three former PCC World Fireknife Champions in finals “This was the first time we had a true battle of the champions at the end. All three of the finalists were former champions,” said Tagaloataoa Delsa Atoa Moe, PCC vice president of cultural presentations   Penesa — who previously won in 2017 — is a native Samoan and...
delete

Samoan Family Traditions: The Sacred Dut...

Ha: Breath of Life completes the Polynesian Cultural Center experience every evening in the Pacific Theater. People love this circle-of-life production that follows a young couple fleeing from a natural disaster, the birth of their son Mana, his coming of age and more — all performed beautifully through the perspectives of the various islands we represent at the PCC. Most of the cultural insights are obvious and pleasingly portrayed, but there’s at least one cultural “nugget” in the Samoan section of the Ha — when the young man Mana is smitten by the beautiful Lani — that...
delete

Powerful Polynesian symbolism you can se...

Polynesians use symbols to represent ideas, emotions, states of mind, phrases, movements, memories, loved ones and much more. The symbols can be embodied in words, names, carvings, lei, designs, dance, music, and so on. Hawaiians say many such representations have kaona, expressions with deeper meanings, concealed references or inuendos. The kaona might be beautiful or romantic, others sarcastic or pejorative. Many might appreciate an island song for its surface meaning, not realizing those who understand the kaona get a different meaning from the metaphorical words. Some...
delete

Presidents Council Achieving Results at ...

Leadership by the numbers Imagine an organization dedicated to portraying the best of ancient cultures in a modern environment. Add in executive leadership who must thoroughly understand both sides of that equation, and you begin to define the Polynesian Cultural Center’s seven-person President’s Council: They cumulatively tally an impressive 150-plus years of experience at the Center. All are college graduates, five from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Five represent the cultures of Tonga, Samoa, Aotearoa and Fiji. All have strong ties to Polynesia. Five worked...
delete

Hawaiian Wood Carving Meaning & Tra...

Doug Christy, a 37-year veteran Maori wood carver for the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie, Hawaii, learned his craft from his father, who also worked at the PCC for many years. Now he and the other senior carvers at the Center teach those same skills to a new generation of student workers. Christy explained that before hiring any of them, the department manager and senior carvers usually meet first with new student worker applicants to determine if they have the potential to learn carving. One thing stood out to Christy. He said, “For the first time, he noticed...
delete

Doug Christy Carries on Father’s Wood Ca...

Doug Christy, a Maori carver at the Polynesian Cultural Center for the past 37 years, is continuing the legacy of his father, the late Epanaia Whaanga Christy. The senior Christy, or “Uncle Barney”, worked at the Center until just a few months before he passed away at age 83 in 2004. Master carver ‘Uncle Barney’ Christy Uncle Barney was already a skilled carver in New Zealand in the early 1960s when he joined the team that created the original carvings for the PCC’s Maori Village. Doug, who was born about that time in Hamilton, New Zealand, was...
delete

2019 inductees enshrined in Polynesian F...

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) enshrined the Class of 2019 in their permanent display at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) on January 19, 2019 and recognized several other honorees. PCC president and CEO Alfred Grace welcomed all the honorees to the Center and pointed out our partnership with the PFHOF has been a natural fit since the inaugural Class of 2014. “Congratulations to all of you,” he said. “In acknowledging you, I acknowledge all of our Polynesian people who excel in every worthy endeavor they take on. “For 55 years we pride...
delete

Tua Tagovailoa honors his Polynesian roo...

  The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honored University of Alabama national championship sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as the College Football Player of the Year during the annual enshrinement program at the Polynesian Cultural Center on January 19, 2019. The young Samoan quarterback from Ewa Beach, Oahu  has already accumulated an impressive record of football achievements, including leading the St. Louis High School Crusaders to the Hawaii state football championship over nearby Kahuku High a few years earlier before reporting to the Crimson Tide....
delete

PCC, PFHOF to honor Class of 2019

  As we have since the inaugural Class of 2014, the Polynesian Cultural Center is partnering with the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame on January 19 to honor: The Class of 2019, The 2018 Pro Player of the Year, The 2018 Kupono award for Excellence The 2018 College Football Player of the Year, And the 2018 High School Football Player of the Year.   Meet the Class of 2019 After a lengthy selection process, the PFHOF announced its Class of 2019 inductees chosen from a list of 12 finalists. They are (in alphabetical order): ♦ Joe Salave’a (Samoan from Leone,...
delete

Women now have their own division at the...

Exciting addition to 2019 World Fireknife Championship “Soon after the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 2018 World Fireknife Championship competition ended last May, we began preparing to make the 27th annual competition from May 8-11, 2019, even better,” said Delsa Atoa Moe, PCC Vice President of Cultural Presentations. Moe explained she and her committee decided to reinstate a women’s open division (for ages 18-and-up). “Women have been competing regularly over the past 26 years,” she said. “For example, Jeralee Galea’i of...
delete

The Elephant Shack

The Elephant Shack food truck, which has been a favorite on the North Shore for years, is already drawing repeat customers among Thai food fans! The newest addition to the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Hukilau Marketplace moved its service to La’ie October 16, 2018. A harmonious blend of flavorful food The range of Thai food is known around the world for its harmonious blend of fresh vegetables, herbs, moderate amounts of shredded or chopped meat, coconut cream sometimes, and spices with dishes ranging from pleasantly piquant to fiery. Elephant Shack manager Mem Nannaphat,...
delete

International Breadfruit Conference

For centuries the people of Polynesia have recognized the importance of breadfruit — called ‘ulu in Hawaiian and Samoan — as a source of food, lumber, and other materials. History and movie fans may remember Captain Bligh and HMS Bounty sailed to Tahiti in the late 1700s to retrieve breadfruit saplings and replant them in the Caribbean. Of course, that particular voyage ended in an infamous mutiny, but today breadfruit is widely used in tropical countries around the world — in more ways than just as a doughy food staple. The 2018 Global Breadfruit, Technology &...
delete

Polynesian Cultural Center celebrates 55...

1963-2018 Fifty-five years ago on October 12, 1963, hundreds of invited dignitaries, tourism executives, Church College of Hawaii (which became BYU–Hawaii in 1974) administrators and faculty, media, Polynesian cultural leaders, Church officials and community representatives gathered on the brand-new Polynesian Cultural Center’s hot, sunny Hale Aloha theater stage for a special dedicatory program. (Historical note: The same volcano-like backdrop still rises above the Hale Aloha today, which is now the main venue for the PCC’s Alii Luau and other special functions.) Elder...
delete

How To Make Coconut Oil And Why Fijians ...

“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 Brigham Young University–Hawaii and now works full-time for the Center. “We also oil our...
delete

“Huki” costumes take a year-...

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, visitors may not realize over four years went into planning and preparing the new canoe celebration....
delete

Polynesian Cultural Center’s new “Huki” ...

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 popular Rainbows of Paradise canoe show. During its 18-year run approximately 10 million visitors...
delete

Cook Island performers return to Polynes...

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 employees.” A family welcome PCC director of the islands, Steve Laulu, and representatives from each of the...
delete

New Kauhola Art Gallery features Polynes...

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 who works at enhancing the Center and our guests’ experience, explained we used to have an...
delete

We Are Samoa Festival 2018

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 addition to those in the audience, PCC emcee Delsa Atoa Moe, vice president of cultural...
delete

Jeralee Galea’i wins second interm...

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 division semifinalists who a panel of judges selected the previous night, competed again for...
delete

World Fireknife Champion 2018 spins his ...

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 finalists during the intermission of the evening show, Ha: Breath of Life. After a...
delete

PCC’s Hukilau Marketplace Gets 3 N...

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 available in Laie. Previously, North Shore Oahu people could only purchase them nearby on...
delete

Seamstresses work magic behind the scene...

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 Keni, plus nine full-time volunteers, and two part-time student workers. “Our...
delete

The “new” Polynesian Cultural Center

…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 the Center as a teenager. After obtaining a degree in construction management and...
delete

Hui Ho’oulu Aloha: PCC revives hula hala...

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 the recent Moanikeala Festival. In Hawaiian, the name means “the group that...
delete

PCC Presents 28th Annual Moanikeala Hula...

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 crafts fair, a Hawaiian quilting demonstration, the opportunity to mash boiled taro...
delete

Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, PCC ti...

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 University of Hawaii head football coach June Jones shared a memory during the most recent...
delete

PFHOF enshrines Class of 2018 at PCC

  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” Pi’ikea Clark Sr., (who died in 1989), was a Hawaiian OL related to the...
delete

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,...
delete

Uncle David Hannemann ‘Graduates’ from P...

  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 First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approved hiring Hannemann — who...
delete

Two new VP’s at Polynesian Cultura...

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 for 20 years in church-related finance in Auckland before coming to Laie. His...
delete

Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announc...

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 (Hawaiian): OL, Oregon State; All Pac-10 Selection. Drafted in the 4th Round in the 1952 NFL Draft: Chicago...
delete

PFHOF names 2017 college player of the y...

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 All-American Team, as did the Walter Camp, Sports Illustrated, The...
delete

Orgills report on Latter-day Saint missi...

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 top executive from 2002 to 2013. He and his wife, Sherry, now live in Orem,...
delete

The Polynesian Cultural Center legacy is...

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 the Center holds reunions, for example our week-long 50th anniversary in October 2013,...
delete

Polynesian Cultural Center receives USA ...

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: 1st – The Polynesian Cultural Center 2nd – Pearl Harbor Historic sites 3rd –...
delete

Hawaiian Steel Guitar History

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 years later, most players now use a steel bar about three inches long to create the...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

Visit Laie: New website explores Oahu...

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 portal for information on Laie With as many as a million visitors a year coming to Laie — home...
delete

Polynesian Cultural Center pioneer: Pato...

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 Polynesians, his actual name is much longer: Te Are Toa O Te Patoa o Maouna Tama Pikikaa...
delete

Cook Islands performers thrill at the Po...

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 Islands appearance at PCC The Cook Islands group “consists of five...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

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...
delete

Best-ever Samoan World Fireknife Champio...

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 intermission of the Center’s sold-out evening show, Ha: Breath of Life, . . ....
delete

PCC World Fireknife photo essay

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 in the PCC’s Hale Aloha luau theater. They hoped to be among six...