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Volcanoes cultural festival celebrates Pele

This year's cultural festival celebrates Pele. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)

This year's cultural festival celebrates Pele. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)


E Hoomau i ka Poohala … carry on the virtues, arts, and skills of the family at Hawaii Volcanoes’ 29th Annual Cultural Festival. Set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 11, the event will be on the lawn fronting Kilauea Military Camp on Crater Rim Drive. The festival and park entrance are free.

This year’s theme is E Ola ka Wahine o Halemaumau, Pele lives. For many Native Hawaiians, Halemaumau crater is the sacred home of Pele, deity of volcanoes. Located at the summit of Kilauea volcano, about two miles from the festival grounds, Halemaumau has been in eruption since March 2008. An eruption on the volcano’s east rift has been ongoing since January 1983.

At 10 a.m., the echo of the pu (shell trumpet) and a heartfelt pule (Hawaiian prayer) will remind us that the culture of Hawaii is very much alive. Enjoy hula by Haunani’s Aloha Expression and listen to the sweet sounds of Hawaiian music by Diana Aki, Kenneth Makuakane, and Heli Silva-Ducaroy.

Jazz Yglesias will emcee the day’s happenings.

Join in and make a lei, feather kahili, Hawaiian quilt, wood fishhook, gourd for hula, and kukui nut top.
You can weave a coconut basket and lauhala bracelet; play the ukulele and Hawaiian games; and taste traditional foods such as kalua pig, taro, sweet potato, poi, sugar cane, and breadfruit.

Watch skilled practitioners demonstrate how to fish, throw net, build canoe, craft drums, do lomilomi massage, beat kapa, carve wood, use plants as medicine, stamp with bamboo, make a lauhala hat and feather lei, create a native plant garden, and plant dryland taro.

There will be opportunities to learn basic Hawaiian language, trace your family genealogy, and buy locally-made Hawaiian crafts from cultural practitioners. Food, drinks, and special edition festival T-shirts will be available for purchase.

Festivalgoers should wear sunscreen and a hat, and bring water, a rainjacket, and beach chair or ground mat to sit on. Weather at Kilauea’s summit can be hot and sunny or cool and misty. Pets are not allowed.

The event is cosponsored by the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Natural History Association, Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Kilauea Military Camp.

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