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Experiencing Your America…Hawaii-Style

August 17, 2011

Experiencing "Your America" means many things at all the 394 National Parks! (Used by Permission of Dino Morrow)

Sounds of Hawaii...

There are many ways to experience “Your America” in the National Park System. From the natural wonders of Denali National Park in Alaska to the cultural heritage of African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City.  Here in the National Parks of the Pacific, we offer some unique opportunities to connect with our Nation’s natural and cultural heritage. This past weekend, visitors from around the world had the opportunity to take part in a cultural festival that celebrates and helps perpetuate native Hawaiian culture. The following photos were taken by Dave Boyle and Dino Morrow (sham battle/ceremony photos) at Pu`ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.  Enjoy…

Ever try playing a flute with your nose?

Park maintenance worker Donny Bruno offering a fresh coconut to a visitor.

A young visitor trying his hand at spear tossing.

Visitors had the opportunity to try their hand at many traditional crafts, including lei making.

Daniel Kawaiaea Sr (left) and Uncle Taro (right) enjoying another beautiful day in Paradise.

View of the festival at Pelekane Bay with Pu`ukohola Heiau above.

Poi was a staple food of Hawaii and making it took a lot of time and these young visitors are learning!

Do you want a coconut hat? Uncle Taro will teach you how to make one yourself!

Uncle Kala Willis and Aunty Martha Zacho talk story...both have been participating at our festival for years.

Uncle Taro instructs a young visitor in how to weave coconut leaves into little fish!

Besides hands-on activities, visitors had the chance to check out native plants. Did you know many of Hawaii's plants are found nowhere else on Earth? Now you do!

Young visitors enjoying the festival.

Everything that visitors made at the festival could be taken home with them.

A curious young visitor looks to see what's going on...

...Oh, tapa stamping!

Quilting in Hawaii goes back to when the first missionaries showed up in the early 1800's, a tradition that continues to this day.

Young visitors get their own coconut to drink and eat.

Weaving lauhala bracelets

Besides cultural activities, volunteers from the National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Program talked to visitors about the many environmental changes that have taken place over the past 200 years.

The festival was an opportunity to both enjoy Hawaiian culture land learn important things about Hawaii's fragile environment.

Gourd carving 101.

Charles Hua, probably the most popular park ranger in the nation, is one sharp dresser!

A Law Enforcement Park Ranger from Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park gets in on the fun!

You have to make your flute just right...or it won't play...


Hana Hou!

Park maintenance worker Bernard Gomes shows how to play the ipu (gourd drum).

Visitors got to witnessed a rare event...the Ho`okupu Ceremony. (Used by Permission of Dino Morrow)

The Ho`okupu is a traditional gift-giving ritual. (Used by Permission of Dino Morrow)

Our festival is not complete without the "Sham Battle"...where participants hurl spears at each other. (Used by Permission of Dino Morrow)

Sham battles were used as training exercises for war. (Used by Permission of Dino Morrow)

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