37th Annual Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival

This weekend there is a Hawaiian cultural festival at Pu'ukohola Heiau (temple on the hill of the whale), which happens to be 10 minutes from our house. There are dozens of activities, games and crafts celebrating Hawaii and the Hawaiian people. The festival is also a time to work on improving and restoring the rock walls of the heiau and perform ancient ceremonies on sacred lands.

The best part is that absolutely everything is FREE!

HPA Football season started today at 2pm so we didnt have a ton of time at the festival, but I did have time to weave a lauhala (pandanus leaf) bracelet and make an ipu (gourd used like a drum during hula for ancient chants and dances).

Making the ipu was serious work! We used coconut husks to rub the gourd with wet sand until it was all brown, smooth and clean. I would say it took about 20-30 minutes. Phew! 15 minutes into scrubbing I began to seriously question my decision on gourd size. But the results are well worth it. It can either be maintained by rubbing periodically with coconut oil or by coating it with varnish. I will eventually varnish this one.

The plan for tomorrow is church is Puako and then back to the heiau for lei making, basket weaving, tapa pounding, net making, canoe paddling, and spear throwing (Mr As one activity request). Finish the day off with a tour around the temple and a rousing rendition of Aloha Hawaii!

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