A bright, clear beautiful morning greeted visitors at Kahalu`u Bay on October 22, along with food, games, prizes, Hawaiian crafts, music and a day of fun to be had by all. La `Ike Day, a Day of Understanding, was underway at the main pavilion, with coral reef education and the sharing of traditional Hawaiian knowledge.
The Kohala Center staff and volunteers welcomed visitors who were excited to participate in hands-on learning of various Hawaiian arts and crafts. While Kumu Sam Kama, Leonard Kaniho, and Jay Moses filled the air with traditional Hawaiian music, Kumu Mele Waikiki led a group in the art of Palapalai Wili Haku, or stringless lei making. At another table Sandee Kama had beginners weaving their first coconut leaf baskets. Guests were thrilled at the opportunity to produce their very own souvenir to take home.
Jennifer Bryan exhibited various works by local artists including sketches, paintings, and jewelry, while Geoffrey Mundon demonstrated the art of kapa cloth making and `Ohe Kapala – bamboo stamp printing using natural dyes found in native plants and flowers.
Both adults and children enjoyed fun and games. Keiki used rod and reel to capture play fish that tested their knowledge of fish names, in both Hawaiian and English languages. The correct pronunciation rewarded them with a toy prize. Adults participated in a free raffle to win Kohala Center signature chico bags and ReefTeach hats.
As the day heated up, it was time to break for lunch. Everyone gathered to hold hands, and special guest Robert Punihaole blessed the meal and this extraordinary day. La `Ike Day volunteers Trish Malone and Barbara Eldridge helped serve `ono food to all. Guests relaxed over a hot meal while talking story, sharing, and making new friends.
The bay welcomed many snorkelers with plenty of sunshine and calm waters. Snorkelers and beachgoers sought shade under the ReefTeach tent, where they found a chance to thumb through fish identification books, read displays, and talk story with ReefTeacher Dave Shoup, who educated them on the delicate coral reef system of the bay.
As participants completed their craft projects and appetites were satisfied, the celebration came to a close. For many it was a day filled with new knowledge, new friendships, fun, and aloha overlooking beautiful Kahalu`u Bay.
Mahalo to all who participated!
Photos by R. Magnus