Today we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. If you’ve ever been to Colonial Williamsburg it’s very similar but you’re visiting different islands instead of a colonial village. Here is a map of the Polynesian islands.
Since it was an hour away from our house we stopped at China Man’s Hat to eat our lunch.
It does look like a hat doesn’t it? Heather tried it on her head:
Because we stayed a while at China Man’s hat we got to the PCC an hour late but right in time for the canoe parade.
The royalty called Ali’i processed first.
Then each island was featured on a separate canoe. First was Hawaii performing a beautiful hula dance.
Next was Tonga.
The Tahitian women dance with their hips. They can move their hips even better than the Dancing with the Stars pros.
The men of New Zealand, Aotearoa, performed a very warlike dance accompanied by loud drums.
The Samoans, the happy people, really got into their dance; rocking their boat so much that the paddler landed in the water!
The Fijians performed the last dance.
After the parade, we headed to the island of Samoa. Each island has a presentation at a certain hour. Samoa was the best.
The MC on the left and the head chief on the right spoke about how the palm tree was the source of the existence for the Samoan people.
It provided food,
(you can see one of the Samoans made a basket out of the palm branches), and even clothing and rugs:
One of the guys scaled a palm tree for a coconut and then cracked it open with a rock! We learned that the Samoans were encouraged to play with fire at a very young age. Many of them were so comfortable with fire they learned to dance with it:
After the presentation we visited the huts that had an activity you could participate in.
Each hut was made of palm trees:
Abby tried to make a fire with 2 sticks:
It didn’t work for her but we saw others actually able to do it. We also visited the kitchen there and sampled some bananas boiled in coconut milk.
The next island we visited was:
During the Hawaiian presentation we first got to watch the Hawaiians perform a real hula.
Most people think hula dancing involves hula skirts and hip shaking but that is actually what the Tahitians do. Original Hawaiian hula is a dance using mostly arm movement. Each movement of the arms depicts what the song is saying.
They had the audience learn a hula dance too! It was fun to get up and move around.
Afterwards, Heather got a picture with the Hawaiian troop.
The visitation to the Polynesian islands closes at 5pm, so that was all we had time to see! I wished we could have seen all the other islands. If I ever go back to Hawaii I”m going to have to come back to this center and see more of what I missed. Instead, we made our way down the road to our Luau, an extra show the Polynesian center puts on in the evenings. On the way we took lots of pictures of the scenery:
The Luau was amazing! Not only did it have scrumptious food:
Smoked pig, raw fish, poi (Heather agreed with Rachel and thought it tasted like nothing), kimchi, and salad. The desserts were also great. I liked the Guava cake the best.
During the meal, we watched more dancing from all the different islands.
Their costumes got more and more elaborate and …. odd:
Children even danced.
And then, it was our turn. Abby and me made Heather get up and join the volunteer dancers. It was so funny to watch her try to move her hips!
Heather said the next dance she planned to do would be a stately minuet in a Colonial ball gown. No Tahitian dancing! Despite her complaints, she did get to have a pic with some hot Tahitian men!
The final dance was a slow Hawaiian graceful dance.
If you ever get a chance to go to Oahu be sure to check out the Polynesian Cultural Center and try to get tickets for 2 days or you’ll be like us and won’t get to see everything.
A hiking post will be coming up soon!