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Indigenous Cultural Affair Strengthens Ties

Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, HI) , February 12, 2006

Summary:

The annual Mary Kawena Pukui Storytelling Festival was founded in 2001 to pay tribute to Pukui's rich legacy and love of Hawaiian culture, language and lore. It is presented by Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations through a partnership with the Bishop Museum, the Alaska Native Heritage Center and Inupiat Heritage Center in Alaska, and the Peabody Essex Museum and New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts.

At the centerpiece of the festival is a multi-cultural performance piece featuring natives from Hawaii, Alaska, and Massachusetts. Native Hawaiians, a member of the Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts, Yup’ik storytellers and singers, and Inupiat performers have come together under the direction of Peter Rockford-Espiritu of Tau Dance Theatre to share their creation stories. This 35-minute exciting, interactive performance will speak to all ages about our beginnings and our connections to the world around us.

"It is an honor to be able to welcome our native partners from afar, to host them in our state and to share their stories with thousands of schoolchildren and families," project manager Noelle Kahanu says. "It is also an honor to travel across the country, sharing the stories of our Hawaiian people, to delight students with oli (chants), mele (songs) and hula and to remind ourselves that we are all really one family, 'na mamo o na kamahele e au i ke kai loa,' descendants of those who traveled the wide expanse of the sea."

Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals


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