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MidWeek Staff

It’s Makahiki Time At Waimea Valley

It’s once again time for Waimea Valley’s annual Makahiki festival. The celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday continues the park’s observance of this important cultural holiday.

Traditionally, Native Hawaiians conducted Makahiki festivals over a four-month period to honor Lono, the god of harvest, fertility and prosperity. All military operations would halt and be replaced by hula, luau, games and athletic competitions.

The festival features a series of Hawaiian game demonstrations at Ka ‘ili ‘ili uka, the Valley’s Upper Meadow. The games include: ‘Ulu maika (disc throwing), Moa pahe ‘e (dart sliding), Konane (a checkers-like game), ‘O o ihe (spear throwing), Pa Uma (hand wrestling), Kulakula’i (chest pushing), Kukini (foot racing) and Hukihuki (tug of war).

A new holua (sled), created by Tom Pohaku Stone, and a sled run will be used on the meadow hillside to demonstrate the fast and unusual sport. Requiring upper-body strength and a keen sense of balance, ali’i would challenge one another on slides bordered by jagged lava fields to demonstrate their bravery and their right to lead.

Several hula halau and a Pa Lua (martial arts school) will perform kahiko hula throughout the weekend. Elders will share memories of Waimea Valley and the history of the North Shore. The event also will have lomilomi, native plants sales, feather lei makers, pohaku shapers, kapa makers, weapons, artisans and artful jewelers. Food and cold drinks will be available for purchase.

In the spirit of the Makahiki season, organizers request that each family bring a nonperishable food item to be given to North Shore Food Bank. Kamaaina and local military admission is $5; $10 for groups of up to 10.

For more information call 638-7766 or go to waimeavalley.net.

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