Lighting A Cultural Fire In Area Youths

After four hours of “heated” competition, the Junior Pacific Division fireknife champions emerged May 11, and half of the winners are from Windward Oahu.

The 20th annual World Fireknife competition at Polynesian Cultural Center showcased skilled performers of all ages from throughout the Pacific and U.S. Mainland, with local entries shining brightest in the junior ranks.

Junior Pacific Division

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Winners of the Junior Pacific Division (age 6-11) of the World Fireknife Championships are (from left) second place Kekoa Lagunte of Waialua, first place K.J. Ahloy of Laie and third place Jonathon Fiu of Kahuku. Photos courtesy PCC.

* K.J. Ahloy of Laie took first place for ages 6 to 11, with Kekoa Lagunte of Waialua second, and Jonathon Fiu of Kahuku third.

* Preston Weber of Florida took first for ages 12-17, Hale Motuapuaka of Aiea placed second, and Achilles Tafiti of Laie placed third.

The same day at PCC, Castle, Kahuku and Kailua students joined with teams from four other Oahu high schools to demonstrate games, fire-making and other skills at the Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival. Castle High’s Polynesian Club reported earning first place in coconut husking (male), basket weaving (males and females) and banana peeling (female).