Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to host annual celebration of Hawaiian culture

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The Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will host the 32nd annual Cultural Festival on Sat., July 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kahua Hula (traditional hula platform) at Kaauea, near Volcano Art Center.

Park entrance fees will be waived all day.

An estimated 5,000 visitors attend the annual one-day free family event, which promotes the importance and understanding of hula kahiko (ancient hula), traditional arts and crafts, and contemporary Hawaiian music.

In a news release issued by park officials, park ranger Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell, said: “We invite everyone to celebrate what truly makes Hawaii Volcanoes National Park so special: the ever-present spirit of aloha of the Hawaiian people and culture so deeply connected to this sacred land of powerful geology and diverse and unique ecology.”

The festival’s theme is: ‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi, “Not all knowledge is learned in one school.” Kumu hula (hula instructors) and members of several halau hula (hula groups) will share their knowledge of hula kahiko, including chants, costumes, implements and adornments. 

There will also be demonstrations on how to beat kapa, weave a lauhala hat, sew a feather lei, plant a native garden, and discussion about plants tapped for medicinal uses. Among the hands-on offerings for visitors: weaving a coconut basket and lauhala bracelet, making a feather kahili and traditional lei.   

The Cultural Festival honors, preserves and perpetuates Hawaiian culture and supports Hawaiian programs, practitioners, halau and musicians. For more information about the park’s fest, click here or call (808) 985-6011.

Photo: (Hawaiian canoe demonstration) photo by park ranger Jay Robinson/National Park Service

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