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Cowboy breakfast at Pukalani Stables (Feb. 4)


Olelo Kanaka – Hawaii’s native language – was and continues to be the “working language” of paniolo on Hawaii ranches, but not all paniolo are native Hawaiian. In fact, paniolo come from every ethnic group and every possible combination thereof.

Among those who have distinguished themselves are cowboys of Japanese ancestry, and surnames such as Kimura, Horie, Yamaguchi, Kawamoto, Onaka, Kato, Fujii, Yamasaki, Fujitani, Hokama, Nakata, Goto, Hamada, Morifuji and Yoshimatsu are legendary for their achievements and contributions.

To honor “Paniolo Kepani” – Hawaii’s Japanese cowboys — the Paniolo Preservation Society will for the first time join the Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival on Saturday, Feb. 4, with an all-day open house at its new Paniolo Heritage Center at historic Pukalani Stables.

The community is invited free of charge to view a new exhibit created for the festival and enjoy demonstrations, talk story and more from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The PPS celebration will begin with an 8-10 a.m. Cowboy Breakfast, prepared by the Beamer-Solomon Halau o Poohala – a family with an 80-year ranching heritage.

Breakfast will include Paniolo Loco Moco made with smoked meat, and traditional cowboy pancakes with guava jelly. These pancakes are different from the pancakes most are familiar with.

They’re made simply from flour, water and a touch of salt and look rather like think crepes but have a delicious flavor all their own such that leftovers were often rolled up with jelly or smoked meat and packed by paniolo as a quick trailside snack.

Breakfast also will include steaming hot Starbucks coffee, tea or cocoa.

A $12 donation is suggested for breakfast ($5 for keiki 5-10 years old) and may be purchased ahead of time from Kamuela Liquor Store. Or, guests may purchase tickets at the door on a first come basis.

Other activities at Pukalani Stables throughout the day will include:

* Informal talk story spotlighting Japanese and Hawaiian cultural practices that helped Japanese men become revered paniolo.

* A sharing of Pukalani’s remarkable history and the significant role it played in providing exceptional mounts for Parker Ranch and also for customers from literally around the world – from U.S. General George Patton, to Japan’s prestigious Imperial Riding Club.

* Visiting the Paniolo Heritage Center’s fledgling museum exhibit that features near century-old saddles, tack, rawhide lariats and photographs dating back to the mid 1800s.

* A Hawaiian Tree Saddle exhibit and talk story by master saddlemaker Alvin Kawamoto and Sonny Keakealani.

* Learning to play the Japanese card game Hanafuda with Milton Yamasaki and friends including Hanafuda-players from Tutu’s House.

Pukalani Stables will be on the Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival’s free shuttle bus route around town, or guests may walk or drive to the stables. All activities are free except breakfast and lunch offerings, beverages and PPS memorabilia.

For more information or breakfast reservations, call 854-1541, email or visit:

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