August 18, 2010 – Kohala Coast, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Tim Bryan
This year’s “Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival” at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau commemorated the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom of Hawai`i by King Kamehameha the Great.
Native Hawaiians gathered at the heiau, and the nearby Spencer Beach Park, over the course of the week. On Saturday, the public was invited to watch cultural opening ceremonies at the heiau, including the Ho`okupu – or Gift-Giving Ritual – demonstrated under the hot leeward sun.
The stone heiau at Kawaihae is one of the last major sacred structures built in Hawai‘i before outside influences altered ancient Hawaiian life permanently. Constructed in 1790-1791 by Kamehameha I, it ultimately led to his unification of the Hawaiian Islands and its people by 1810.
After the ceremony, the participants marched off to begin the festival, where hands-on arts and craft workshops and demonstrations were available for visitors to experience.
The festival is made possible through the cooperation of the Hawai‘i Natural History Association, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Na Aikane o Pu‘ukoholā Heiau, Na Papa Kanaka o Pu‘ukoholā Heiau, National Park Service, and many friends of the Park.