Put yourself back a couple of centuries. You have heard rumors…rumors of fierce warriors. Anxious eyes watch the horizon. All have heard about these warriors and their stories were perpetuated through the performance of the “Haka”. In this traditional exercise warriors performed acts of intimidation. So much so that our local high school football team, Kahuku High School, was asked not to perform their traditional “Haka” before games, the regulators stating it was “too intimidating”. (see below for a link to the “All Blacks” (rugby) team’s “haka” for an example).
These fierce warriors and defenders of freedom came from Aotearoa (New Zealand). The Polynesian Cultural Center, located only a few miles from Turtle Bay Resort, has faithfully recreated an Aotearoa Village at their center and are now producing their 10th annual “Te Manahua” festival on Saturday, August 8th.
Named “Te Manahua” (which in Maori means “to bloom,” as with a flower or understanding, referring to growing interest in keeping kapa haka alive and thriving), the 2009 competition is made to promote and celebrate this art form. The ancient chants of Aotearoa (New Zealand) will fill the air on Saturday, August 8, at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s 10th Annual Te Manahua Maori Cultural Festival. Festivities will begin at the Hale Kuai stage at 9:00 a.m. and then move to the Maori Village at 1:00 pm for activities and workshops.
The event will feature an array of activities that include Haka Hard (male posture dance) and Poi E (graceful implement dance with the twirling ball on end of string) competition, song and dance performances, and a mau rakau (Maori weaponry) display.
Cost: Admission is $10 for adults ages 16 and up and $6 for children ages five to 15. Kamaaina Annual Pass holders, full-day ticket holders, and keiki under five can attend for free.
For more information or to make reservations, please call the Polynesian Cultural Center’s ticket office at (808) 367-7060 or visit www.polynesia.com. In Hawaii, call (808) 293-3333.