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Puukohola Heiau Cultural Festival this weekend (Aug 14-15)

Puukohola Heiau

Puukohola Heiau. Photograph by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7


(Unifying the past with the present to establish a firm future)

This year’s “Ho‘oku‘ikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival” at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom of Hawai`i by King Kamehameha the Great. This special event will begin with opening ceremonies from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, with festivities continuing till 3:00 p.m. On Sunday, August 15 the festivities will commence at 9:30 a.m. and continue through 3:00 p.m.

This annual celebration is entitled “Ho‘oku‘ikahi I Pu‘ukoholā Heiau.” Each year the festival’s theme is “Ke Kulana No‘eau o Ka Wā Kahiko (The Culture of Ancient Hawai‘i). Established as a National Historic Site on August 17, 1972, Pu‘ukoholā Heiau continues to be a place where living history is perpetuated, and where efforts to bring the people of Hawai‘i together in pursuit of completing Kamehameha the Great’s unfinished good deeds is a primary objective.

The stone heiau at Kawaihae is one of the last major sacred structures built in Hawai‘i before outside influences altered ancient Hawaiian life permanently. Constructed in 1790-1791 by Kamehameha I, it ultimately led to his unification of the Hawaiian Islands and its people by 1810.

On Saturday, August 14, 2010 the public is invited to watch cultural ceremonies, including the Ho`okupu (Gift-Giving Ritual), from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. From 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 14 and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 15, the public is invited to participate in cultural demonstrations, workshops and activities at Pelekane (Royal Courtyard), located near the beach below Pu‘ukoholā Heiau. Parking will be on the coral flats, south of the Kawaihae Harbor.

Hands-on arts and craft workshops and demonstrations will be available for visitors to experience, including Lei Haku Ame Lei Wili (ancient lei making), Hana Hu (making spinning tops), Hana Kapa Kuiki (quilting), Hawaiian Games, Kahili feather standards), Ulana Lauhala (Lauhala weaving), Holo Wa‘a (canoe rides), and more.

Park Superintendent Daniel Kawaiaea Jr. invites the public to join the festivities with only one stipulation, that each visitor learns at least one craft before leaving the area to help preserve part of the Hawaiian Culture. Bring refreshments and lunch if you plan to stay the entire day. It is recommended that comfortable clothing be worn, and that you use some type of sunscreen.

The festival is made possible through the cooperation of the Hawai‘i Natural History Association, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Na Aikane o Pu‘ukoholā Heiau, Na Papa Kanaka o Pu‘ukoholā Heiau, National Park Service, and many friends of the Park.

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