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Hawai'i Cultural Experience
Auntie Lynda Saffery Tu'a and Wailana Simcock
Learn and experience authentic Hawaiian Culture on the Big Island of Hawai`i. Perform a sunrise ceremony at Kumukahi, a sacred place where the sun’s rays first touches the Hawaiian Islands. Pay homage to the ancient Hawaiian village of Kahuwai, visit the sacred volcanic lake Ka Lua Wai a Pele, and be awed by the fabled place of Pu`u Ha`eha`e. Enter the lowland rainforest of Puna and learn about this special `āina (land). Learn about native botanicals and their healing attributes, traditional chants and mo`olelo (stories), and prepare offerings to the volcano goddess Pele. Practice traditional `ulana lauhala (weaving with hala leaves) and the traditional art of lei making. Learn and dance the hula, play the `ukulele, speak Hawaiian phrases and learn about the unique philosophies inherent within, and “talk story” with kūpuna (elders) and locals alike. Expose yourself to Hawaiian astronomy, ocean navigation, sunset views at 14,000ft on Mauna Kea, and go for a moon walk. Play in the Hawaiian waters by snorkeling in tide pools, rejuvenate in the hot ponds warmed by lava, or go for an open ocean swim at our local black sand beach, Kehena. And if you can surf, you can go with one of our local surfers! Culminate your week of Hawaiian Culture by preparing and celebrating in a traditional lū`au (feast) with your new friends and ‘ohana (family).
About the Facilitator(s)
Lynda Saffery Tu‘a received her formal training from a 1988 State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Apprentice Grant for Ulana Lauhala, a 1989 State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Masters Grant for Ulana Lauhala and a 2002 sabbatical to Tonga to study weaving and kapa making and design. She has been a Featured Artist in 1997 State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Publication “Traditions We Share.” She has also been honored to make ka’ai (burial baskets) for iwi kupuna (bones of the Elders) returned to Pu‘u Honua ‘O Honaunau from the Smithsonian Institute. She continues to teach the traditional ways and designs of the kupuna, enjoys being part of the holua culture and ulana makaloa revival, and uses and teaches la‘au lapa‘au (traditional herbal medicine). She especially finds fulfillment in honoring Wahi Pana (Sacred Places).
Wailana Simcock was born in the Philippines to a Pinay mother and a New Zealand father and was raised in O'ahu since age 5. He speaks fluent Tagalog and Hawaiian and is influenced by his own and of Hawaii's native cultural practices. The history of colonialism in the places he was born and raised in has impelled him to question the ideas of race, culture, and power. Wailana is trained in Hula, Modern, and Aerial Dance. He performed with the groundbreaking productions of 'Ulalena (Maui) and Waikiki Nei (O'ahu). Designing a unique multidisciplinary degree at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo titled “Culture and Performance in Contemporary Hawaii” (2006), Simcock merged Hawaiian language, culture, and ethos with western theater arts. He continues with this focus in his participation with N2 Dance program (Maika and ‘Ānela Woods) in the honorable Hawaiian immersion school Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u (K-12) where he teaches western dance theater constructs in the Hawaiian language.
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