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Highlights from the 33rd Annual Cultural Festival at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

July 30, 2013

Aloha mai kākou! The 33rd annual Cultural Festival hosted by Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, July 13 was a BIG success, from start to finish! The park and a fine cadre of cultural practitioners and artists shared authentic Hawaiian cultural practices and performances with more than 3,000 people. Please enjoy this glimpse at some of the highlights.  All photographs are the work of Park Ranger & Visual Information Specialist Jay Robinson, and all videos were filmed by Web Specialist and Park Ranger Stephen Geiger. Leave a comment and let us know if you attended the festival and how you like this blog! Mahalo nui loa.


The sounding of the pū, or conch shell, brings everyone together and marks the official start of the festival. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Cindy with festival T-shirt quilt backdrop

Superintendent Cindy Orlando welcomed everyone with aloha. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

“The beautiful Pele mist, amazing practitioners, mele and chant, ono grinds and hard working youth rangers and staff contributed to what I think is the best cultural festival ever!” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Theeeeere's Doodie!

Emcee Doodie Downs. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Keiki hula

First perfomers were the wonderful Keiki o Hālau o Kekuhi. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Watch Keiki o Hālau o Kekuhi perform:

Hula Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Hula Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Nā kumu

Kumu Hula Mamo Brown (left) and Hoku Awong (right) of Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Watch Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū perform:

And, Paniolo performer Leabert Lindsey drove in from Kona to woo the festival-goers with his wonderful performance. Watch Leabert perform here:

Hawaiian Plate

Youth rangers enjoy a well-deserved break and some Hawaiian grinds! NPS Photo/ Jay Robinson.

Hawaiian musician, Ben Kaili. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Hawaiian musician, Ben Ka’ili. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Watch and listen to Hilo’s own Uncle Ben Ka’ili play!


Hālau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa

Hālau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa perform. Halema’uma’u visible in the distance. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Watch Hālau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa perform:

Mother & Daughter hula hands

Park Ranger and Chief of Interpretation Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell and her daughter Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a share their hula with the audience during Aunty Diana Aki’s performance. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Aunty Diana Aki

Aunty Diana Aki and her band haven’t missed a single cultural festival in 33 years! NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Watch and listen to Aunty Diana Aki and her band play and sing here:

Hawaiian quiltmaking

Hawaiian quilt-making, one of many Hawaiian arts & crafts people were able to try first-hand. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson


The significance of kalo, the Hawaiian staple, is shared by Edna Baldado. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Lei hulu demo

Lei Hulu (feather lei) Master Artist Kilohana Domingo shows how he makes the intricate lei. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei wili

Lei making in the Lei Wili style. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Nā mea ‘ai

Nā Mea ‘Ai: traditional Hawaiian food tasting. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Nā Mea Māla

Nā Mea Māla, the Hawaiian garden. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Pāpale lauhala

Pāpale lauhala, pandanus hat making with Master Weaver Lehua Domingo. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

A hui hou! We hope to see you next year!!!

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