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Polynesian Cultural Center Invites Guests To Go ‘Hands And Feet On’ With Coconut Tree Climbing

Polynesian Cultural Center Invites Guests To Go ‘Hands And Feet On’ With Coconut Tree Climbing

Eight New “Go Native!” Activities Open This Year

Laie, HI – April 1, 2011 – The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is now offering guests the opportunity to kick off their shoes and climb a coconut tree, Samoan style!

Coconut tree climbing is one of eight new “Go Native!” activities that will be premiering throughout the year to entice guests to do as the natives do and actively participate in traditional Polynesian aspects of daily life from Pacific island cultures like Samoa, Tahiti and Hawaii. Other fun and adventurous activities include spear throwing, canoe paddling, umu (traditional Samoan above-ground oven) making and pareu (sarong) dying, just to name a few.

“For our guests, one of the most popular segments in our Samoan village presentation is the coconut tree climbing demonstration,” said Delsa Moe, Cultural Presentations Director for PCC. “Up until now, this has only been a demonstration, but due to guests’ high interest in participating we’ve decided to make coconut tree climbing available as an activity. Beyond being very fun, visitors also get to experience firsthand the amount of strength, dexterity and balance it takes to gather coconuts, which is a staple food in Samoa.”

Coconut tree climbing is held daily in the Samoan village. Guests remove their shoes and use their bare feet and hands to grip the trunk of the tree while attempting to climb towering coconut trees in a thrilling test of strength and courage. A safety harness will make the experience safe and fun for all skill levels. Traditionally, Samoan climbers only use a band of fabric twisted around their feet to secure and protect their feet as they scale the trees.

In Samoa, the coconut tree is known as the “tree of life” for its many uses from root to tip. The coconut itself offers sweet coconut juice, meat and milk, which are all essential ingredients in Samoan cooking; the shell can be used to construct household items and instruments; the husk can be made into rope. Coconut leaves provide roofing material and can be woven into a wide variety of objects, from floor mats to baskets. The tree trunk is used as a building material to make things like furniture. In addition, roots have been used for medicinal purposes throughout Samoan history. Though climbing coconut trees to harvest the nuts and leaves was originally a necessary part of daily life, in recent years it has also become a competitive sport.

For more information about the coconut tree climbing activity or other “Go Native!” activities, or to make reservations, visit www.Polynesia.com or call the PCC ticket office at (800) 1-844-572-2347 . On Oahu, call 293-3333.

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) has entertained more than 34 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to nearly 17,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.