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Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Hawaiian Cultural Festival

July 24, 2014


(To Unify at Pu‘ukoholā)
Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site will celebrate its 42nd anniversary with the park’s annual Ho‘oku‘ikahi i Pu‘ukoholā Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival. The festival will open with Nā Papa Kanaka o Pu`ukoholā Heiau performing the Ho`okupu and Ho‘oku‘ikahi ceremonies on Saturday, August 16 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., with festivities continuing till 3:00 p.m. On Sunday, August 17 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) and the subtheme for this year’s event is “Au‘a ‘ia e kama e kona moku” (We all hold on to the traditions for our children and our land). 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. This festival seeks to unify he past with the present to establish a firm future.

Canoe rides are just one of the many activities that will be at this year’s event. (NPS)

Over 20 arts and craft workshops and demonstrations will be available for visitors to experience and learn hands-on, 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. This year we will be having local musicians playing songs of Hawai‘i.

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. This event will take place at Pelekane (Royal Courtyard) located near the beach below Pu‘ukoholā Heiau. Parking will be on the coral flats, south of the Kawaihae Harbor.

Taste traditional Hawaiian foods at this year’s festival. (NPS)

This free public event is made possible through the cooperation of the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, Na Papa Kanaka o Pu‘ukoholā Heiau, the Royal Order of Kamehameha—Kohala Chapter, the National Park Service, and many friends of the Park.

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. If you would like additional information about this event or other upcoming events, please contact park staff at 882-7218 Ext. 1011 or visit the park website at

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