About Town | 8-4-13


Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site to mark anniversary

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site will celebrate its 41st anniversary with their annual Hookuikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival. The festival will open with Nā Papa Kanaka o Puukohola Heiau performing the Hookupu ceremony Aug. 17 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., with festivities continuing until 3 p.m. On Aug. 18 the festivities will commence at 9:30 a.m. and continue through 3 p.m.

This annual celebration is entitled “Hookuikahi I Puukohola Heiau.” Each year the festival’s theme is “Ke Kulana Noeau o Ka Wa Kahiko” (The Culture of Ancient Hawaii). Established as a National Historic Site on Aug. 17, 1972, Puukohola Heiau continues to be a place where living history is perpetuated, and where efforts to bring the people of Hawaii together in pursuit of completing Kamehameha the Great’s unfinished good deeds is a primary objective.

More than 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 Waa (canoe rides), and more. This year we will be having local musicians playing songs of Hawaii.

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 Puukohola Heiau. Parking will be on the coral flats, south of the Kawaihae Harbor.

This free public event is made possible through the cooperation of the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association, Na Aikane o Puukohola Heiau, Na Papa Kanaka o Puukohola 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 Hawaii 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 nps.gov/puhe.