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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 &...
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“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...