Since I live in Hawaii, I figure I really should become familiar with the Hawaiian culture to some degree. I'm not out to become an expert, but I find the culture to be very informative as it pertains to my own adventure. Hawaiians developed successful ways to grow food here and worked with the local resources to adequately survive. I have been learning a lot studying their techniques. I use Hawaiian techniques for growing many crops and am developing a barter system that is ahupua'a-like. I trade with hunters that bring meat down off the mountain, trade for foods produced within my immediate locale, trade for fish.
The cultural festivals here vary, depending upon who is hosting them. But they all are interesting. The one held this past weekend has many on-hands educational booths where people could not only get information, but they could sit down and try their hand at various Hawaiian activities. And lots of people really did exactly that, both tourists and residents alike. Pretty cool. A lot of fun.
I stopped at numerous booths and found them really great in one way or another. Hawaiian games featured types of Hawaiian style bowling and tug of war.
The kapa cloth booth was quite informative, with several specimens of modern made cloth.
I hope to never have to rely upon kapa as my only source of cloth, but I'm glad that the knowledge has been retained.
Geometric designs are common to early quilting here, though nowadays the quilts have become artistic creations including the play of color upon a theme, or outright picture designs.
The bamboo stamp tent turned out to be most popular with little children.
Another booth featured lauhala weaving that involves processing leaves from a particular tree, the hala, then weaving them into hats, mats, bracelets and a multitude of other items. Notice that the mats people are sitting on are lauhala mats? Lauhala weaving is a good craft to learn for anyone wanting to exercise their artistic heart or be self reliant on a homestead. One could create all sorts of things.
Real handcrafted lauhala hats are quite popular. The hats, like the ones pictured here, are real works of art and their price reflects that. Be prepared to shell out big bucks if you want one. I could never bring myself to buy one, only to see one of my dogs get a hold of it someday. Or have the cat sharpen its claws on it. Yikes! I'd have to store it in a glass display cabinet. But I do indeed love these hats. For me, I'll have to either learn to make my own someday or else buy one from a person learning how to weave them.
Another weaving booth featured coconut fronds. People were busily making their own bowls and hats and looked like they were being pretty successful with their attempts.
I have a number of frond woven items about the house. I've yet to create any myself, but I support our local craftspeople. Someday I'll try my hand at this.
The lei booths were really popular. People were making not just neck leis but wrist and hair adornments too.
Feathers were used in old Hawaiian culture for a number of things. And modern Hawaiian uses include leis, hat bands, mini-kahili for decoration. The feather craft tent was especially popular with the people at the festival this year.
Hawaiian traditional medicines are making a comeback. Hawaii in general embraces alternative medical treating far more than what I saw on the mainland. Thus Hawaiian medicine is actively practiced here. I've only attended two lectures about Hawaiian medicinals, and I found them to be intriguing.
Both the gardening, taro, and the food booths saw lots of activity. I, for one, was glad to see both booths featuring Hawaiian foods. It gave me the opportunity to glean a few more tidbits of knowledge to apply to my homestead. And not just knowledge, but plants too. At the gardening booth I picked up some sugar cane, olena (turmeric), and pia. I've never grown pia before but I wanted to give it a try.
Over at the food booth they were handing out samples of several Hawaiian oriented foods for people to try. Sugar cane. Cooked taro and sweet potato. Poke, and more.
Many festival goers discovered the live entertainment going on at the prettily decorated stage. Hawaiian style music and hula. Always popular here. Yes, us local folk enjoy this. It's not just put on the entertain the tourists. Lots of people around here play ukulele, slack key guitar, and dance hula. If tourists want to watch, fine. But we do these things for ourselves.
Other activities included info lectures by the park rangers and guided walks & hikes in the park. This year I didn't partake in the hikes because I had other plans for the afternoon. But I do plan to bring hubby back so that we can explore the new trails.
There were some vendors also set up this year. The requirement was that they had to offer Hawaiian cultural oriented items, so I saw book vendors, medicinals, t-shirts, and of course....poi! What would be a Hawaiian gathering without poi!
At past festivals I picked up information about plenty of other Hawaiian techniques......plant uses other than food and medicinal, dyeing, sandal making, ti uses, poi pounding, house construction, canoe making, fishing, and more.
The Kahuku Ranch division of the park is, in my opinion, an great location for a cultural fair. I just wish one could be held here every year.