KONA, HAWAI`I (May 1, 2022) – La`i`ōpua 2020 will celebrate the birthday of its double-hulled sailing canoe, “La`i`ōpua,” with an afternoon of cultural activities and a talk story session Saturday, June 25, from 1:30 to 4:30, at its Kealakehe location, adjacent to the Villages of La`i`ōpua. FLYER
The event is free and open to the public; beach chairs and coolers are welcome. Chicken long rice bowls will be served. Cultural crafts will be demonstrated and shared with participants from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a talk story focused on voyaging canoes and navigating by the stars with Chadd “`Ōnohi” Paishon and Pomai Bertelmann, hosted by Dr. Holeka Goro Inaba, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Paishon, a Pwo/Master Navigator who has sailed aboard Hōkūle`a since 1984, has been the cultural advisor for the La`i`ōpua wa`a project. A senior captain of the sailing canoe, Makali`i, Paishon is dedicated to the maintaining of cultural values and customs through the teaching and applying of non-instrument navigation and open ocean voyaging. Bertelmann, whose family spearheaded and were the core builders of the sailing canoe Makali`i, is an educator, cultural protocol specialist, and member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society since 2000.
Builders of La`i`ōpua, including captains Rusty Kainoa Oppenheimer and Khelsea U`i Malakaua, will be on hand to showcase the sailing canoe, which was constructed to provide learning opportunities centered on canoe building, voyaging and community involvement. This is the first educational canoe built on Hawai`i Island since the Makali`i, and her birthday celebrates the builders, cultural advisors, kumu and kupuna who were instrumental in getting La`i`ōpua completed.
This is the second of four “Ola ka Lāhui” events where island historians, kūpuna, story tellers and artisans are sharing their mana`o with residents and visitors interested in a deeper connection to Hawai`i’s history, arts, and traditions. The program’s name, “Ola ka Lāhui,” translates to “The Nation Lives On,” reflecting an intent to share the `ike (knowledge) and mo`olelo of Hawai`i for generations to come. Funding for these events is provided by Hawai`i Tourism Authority through the Kūkulu Ola Program, administered by the Hawai`i Community Foundation.
Each session will be filmed and aired on Nā Leo public television; the events will also be available for viewing on YouTube and through La`i`ōpua 2020’s website, La`i`ōpua.org.
ABOUT LA`I`ŌPUA 2020
La`i`ōpua 2020 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide social, recreational, vocational, economic, educational, and cultural opportunities and infrastructure to Native Hawaiians to include the communities of the Kealakehe ahupua`a. It is a place for pilina (building and supporting one another through relationships) and pu`uhonua (a place of comfort, peace, and safety). For more information about La`i`ōpua 2020, visit its website, Laiopua.org, or call 808.327.1221.
# # #