Categorized | Education

UH at Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 27-July 8)


The University of Hawaii will be among 20 public land-grant universities to be featured June 27-July 8 in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., marking the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Morrill Act that paved the way for higher education for rural and working class Americans.

This year’s Festival is being presented in partnership with APLU, the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities. Close to 80 UH delegates and community partners will travel to the nation’s capitol to celebrate the best in indigenous culture and modern science and demonstrate that the two worlds are being bridged through educational and community outreach.

“It is a great honor to have a place of prominence in this sesquicentennial celebration of the creation of public land grant universities in the nation,” said University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood. “America’s system of higher education is second to none and this is a unique opportunity for us at the University of Hawaii to showcase how truly excellent our programs are and to be on a national stage at a historic and unrepeatable moment.”

UH’s participation in the Folklife Festival is made possible through the following generous sponsors: the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaii Convention Center, University of Hawaii Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution; and in-kind support from other local businesses and the UH Alumni chapters in the Washington, D.C. area.

An estimated 1.5 million people visit the festival and enjoy some of the highlights of UH’s presentations below:

* Hale Mauli Ola exhibits will share traditional health and healing practices and feature lomi lomi (massage) demonstrations, discussions on nutrition, obesity and traditional Hawaiian physical activity such as makahiki games. Nutrition advocate Dr. Claire Hughes and cultural practitioner Gordon “Umi” Kai will be among the experts on hand.

* A mini lo’i kalo (taro patch) where experts like Makahiapo Cashman, Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kanewai, will share their knowledge of plants used for food, medicine and clothing. There will be a medicinal herb display and an organic farming exhibit to be hosted by MA‘O Organic Farms. Organic farmer Derrick Kiyabu and youth leadership fellows will lead discussions and demonstrations.

* Presentations on non-instrument navigation and the Hawaiian star compass chart by way-finding expert Kalepa “Chad” Baybayan of the voyaging canoe Hokulea and the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo will accompany free screenings of Imiloa’s new “Awesome Light” planetarium visual presentation at the Air and Space Museum’s Einstein Planetarium, by special engagement.

* Hawaii Community College’s Kumu Hula Taupouri Tangaro and his 25-member halau Unukupukupu, will share Hawaiian culture, history and traditions through oli (chant), mele (song) and hula (dance). “If the people walk away realizing that hula is not so much entertainment as it is a process of transformation, I’ll be satisfied. We want people to see for themselves how we are creating leadership models and academic success using this 2,000-year-old story,” Tangaro said.

* From the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the Tuahine Troupe, under the leadership of Professor and Kumu Hula Keawe Lopes, will provide an unforgettable journey through Hawaii’s musical and hula heritage, with instrumental, vocal, and dance presentations on the large stage, at intimate venues under the “UH tent” and at the prestigious Kennedy Center in a special Folklife Festival performance.

* The UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) will feature its outreach and research work in aquaponics, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and honeybees/crop pollination. CTAHR is one of the world’s leaders in these fields and in tropical agricultural systems – natural contemporary outgrowths of Hawaiian traditional and indigenous sustainable knowledge.

* Auntie Naomi Losch, Hawaiian Language professor with UH Manoa, will present language lessons and discuss the value of an indigenous culture’s language, how its identity, history and world view are all contained within this oral tradition. She will also share how the university has played a critical role in the revitalization and perpetuation of the olelo Hawaii.

* The John A. Burns School of Medicine, through its Department of Native Hawaiian Health and community partners, will discuss several community-based health interventions. Mele Look, on behalf of The Queen’s Medical Center and university partnership, will discuss the benefits that cardiac patients saw while participating in a 12-week hula class as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Dr. Claire Hughes, on behalf of the PILI Ohana community-academic partnership, will share a community-based and led project to eliminate obesity and diabetes in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Hawaii to be on the national and world stage. It will also give the university and its festival delegates the unique opportunity to learn from and connect with other cultures and people and pave the way for greater collaboration far beyond this summer’s Festival.

“One of our core missions is to become the model indigenous serving educational institution in the U.S. Our presenters and performers will be personally and interactively sharing the culture and traditions of our home land and also demonstrating how science and academics provide a bridge from the past to the future,” Greenwood said. “The theme ‘Campus and Community’ must be evident in everything we do. That’s why we’re taking our community partners up with us to show how we serve our community as a land grant university. We will endeavor to be worthy representatives of this special institution and all it means to the people of Hawaii.”

Signature/Special Events:

* Sunday, June 24: Kamehameha Statue Draping Ceremony
Emancipation Hall, Capitol Visitors Center

* Tuesday, June 26: Unukupukupu special performance
Library of Congress

* Wednesday, June 27: Opening Ceremonies, Folklife Festival 2012

* Thursday, June 28: Hawaii Mahalo Reception hosted by Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation and Governor Neil Abercrombie

* Friday, July 6: Tuahine Troupe special performance
The Kennedy Center

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