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Using plants to convey culture in the Center’s Island Villages

Using plants to convey culture in the Center’s Island Villages

A few weeks ago, we shared how each of the Islands are growing “focus crops” to provide more visual differentiation between each island, along with the buildings. In addition to the featured food crops, each island is currently in the process of selecting and planting specific decorative plants that will be highlighted in each village. For example, Samoa will feature the yellow “lau talotalo” or spider lily plant often used in Samoan lei making decorations, and special dance outfits for the taupou, or chief’s daughter.

Lau Talotalo Samoa

Yellow lau talotalo accent the Fale Tele

We have raided the PCC nursery of its vibrant croton plants to transplant around the Fiji village as its focus plant. Crotons are often used by the men as colorful vesa or decorative upper armbands for performances.

Croton Fiji

Several varieties of croton decorate the meeting house garden.

Tahiti’s national flower is the “tiare” and the clump of areca palms at their village entrance have been replaced with an abundance of fragrant tiare bushes to welcome all visitors who enter there.

Tiare Tahiti

The tiare is described as the Tahitian gardenia.

Aotearoa, Hawaii, and Tonga are still transplanting their featured plants and we hope to showcase their efforts in a future article as we strive to showcase some of the unique and interesting things about our various cultures.

Using plants to convey culture in the Center’s Island Villages - Polynesian Cultural Center