THE RITZ-CARLTON, KAPALUA
Hawaiian arts, crafts, music and dance will be featured during the annual Celebration of the Arts taking place April 6 to 8 at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
Hawaiian spirit has full power at arts festival
When construction began on the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, on Maui in 1987, workers discovered the remains of 2,000 Hawaiian kupuna (ancestors) dating from A.D. 850 to the early 1800s on a 13.6-acre parcel where the main buildings of the hotel were to stand.
Celebration of the Arts
Place: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, 1 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Kapalua Resort, Maui
Times: April 6-8, with free panel discussions and cultural demonstrations from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 6 and 7. Evening events include "The Queen's Story" on April 6, the Celebration Luau and Show on the April 7, and the Celebration After Hours party on both nights.
Call: (808) 669-6200
Web site: www.celebrationofthearts.org
Notes: A special Celebration of the Arts nightly room rate of $195 will be available April 4-8 to Hawaii residents with valid ID. Call for prices for "The Queen's Story," luau and brunch.
Archaeologists were consulted to study the site, and after its significance became apparent, the hotel was redesigned and moved uphill from the burial site. To ensure that other such discoveries would be protected, a group of native Hawaiians, including Les Kuloloio, Dana Hall, Charles Maxwell, Pua Van Dorpe and Pua Kanakaole-Kanahele, led a campaign to establish statewide burial commissions, archaeological mandates, rules and regulations for developers, and to protect native Hawaiian access to these sacred places for religious ceremonies.
The Honokahua Preservation Site has since been registered as a State Historic Place, and the theme for next month's 15th annual Celebration of the Arts festival, "E Ola Ka Mana" ("Let the Spirit Live"), was chosen with those who lie at rest there in mind.
"This wahi pana (sacred site) serves as a place of inspiration as well as remembrance," said Clifford Naeole, cultural adviser for the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and chairman of Celebration of the Arts.
"The mana (spiritual power) of these ancestors continues to reinforce and shape the lives of contemporary Hawaiians, and because of this, we honor them and continue their practices. By doing these things, their spirit will remain alive and enrich us."
More than 40 artisans will be displaying and demonstrating their work and encouraging hands-on participation by attendees. They include several experts in traditional Hawaiian arts: Terry Klerlein (basketry), JoAnne Kahanamoku-Sterling (feather art), Keoni Turalde (Hawaiian drum carving), David Kapaku (coconut weaving), Sabra Kauka (lau hala weaving) and Calvin Hoe (nose flute making). Also spotlighted will be several artists' interpretations of "E Ola Ka Mana," as expressed through watercolor, oil paint, clay weaving, stone, bone and flowers.
Another highlight will be "The Queen's Story," a play that brings the memoirs of Queen Liliuokalani to life through hula and chants performed by a cast composed of inmates from the Maui Community Correctional Center.
"They will share how they feel about being jailed for something they did do and relate it to how our queen may have felt about being imprisoned for something that she did not do," said Naeole. "This is a moving, thought-provoking look at repentance, humility and pride -- a roller-coaster ride of emotions that no doubt will keep the audience spellbound."
EIGHT PANEL discussions are planned, including "Money Invested, Mana Returned," during which the general managers of four major island hotels -- Doug Chang (Hotel Hana-Maui), Doug Sears (Grand Hyatt Kauai), Mike White (Kaanapali Beach Hotel) and Javier Cano (the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua) -- will discuss why understanding the Hawaiian culture is essential to their properties' success.
"They have invested a lot of money in cultural training for their employees and drumming up awareness and support of their cultural programs in the community," said Naeole. "What are some of the programs they've introduced? How do they justify the cost of these programs in terms of time, funds and manpower to their higher-ups? Why are attitudes like this necessary for the survival of Hawaii's hospitality industry? Answers to those questions will be provided during the session."
The panel "Native Hawaiian Rights ... Valid 9 a.m. to 5 p.m." will focus on how Hawaiian rights are allowed and refused according to who's in charge. Among the four speakers is Hanalei Colleado, a Hawaiian minister who travels to mainland penitentiaries as an advocate for Hawaiian religious rights.
"He tries to persuade authorities at the penal institutions to give Hawaiian inmates the right to practice their religion," said Naeole. "Other inmates of various races are allowed to do so, but it seems the Hawaiians always have to fight for the same rights. Why is that, and what can be done to change the situation? As Kahu Hanalei put it, 'It's all about translating the values of Hawaiian spirituality into a language that the practitioners of Christianity in the Bible Belt can understand and appreciate.'"
A third panel, "It Took a Village to Raise a Child," will take attendees back in time to ancient Hawaii when it was the kuleana (responsibility) of the entire village to help nurture children to adulthood.
"Unfortunately, it is the opposite today as parents are working two or three jobs to make ends meet, and there are many latchkey children," said Naeole. "Children now pick and choose who to respect, and often rebel against those who try to guide them and serve as good role models. This panel will present some solutions."
Celebration of the Arts is now regarded as Hawaii's premier arts and cultural event, drawing some 3,000 people and dozens of experts in a diverse range of fields.
Said Naeole, "It is a rare and enriching opportunity to touch the Hawaiian's heart and soul."
5:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.:
Hiuwai and E Ala E Sunrise Protocol
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Wehe I Ka Ipuka (opening protocol)
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Artists' displays and demonstrations
11 to 11:45 a.m.: "It Took a Village to Raise a Child" panel
12:30 to 1:15 p.m.: "Everything You Didn't Know About Hawaiian Protocol" panel
2 to 2:45 p.m.: "Maui A Kama," panel focusing on the chiefly lines of Maui
3:15 to 4:30 p.m.: "Mele Mai," panel on Hawaii's sensual and sassy songs and hula
7 to 9 p.m.: "The Queen's Story"
9 p.m. to midnight: Celebration After Hours featuring the Lim family; repeats April 7.
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
Artists' displays and demonstrations
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: "Money Invested -- Mana Returned," panel featuring general managers of four Maui hotels that have been instrumental in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture.
Noon to 1:30 p.m.: "Ma Ka Malu Alii," "The Alii Trusts -- Then and Now" panel
2 to 2:45 p.m.: "Louis Choris and Jacues Arago -- Portraying Hawaii and Its People" panel
3:15 to 4:30 p.m.: "Native Hawaiian Rights ... Valid 9 a.m. to 5 p.m." panel
6 to 8:30 p.m.: Celebration Luau and Show featuring Uluwehi Guerrero and Halau Hula Kauluokala
Easter egg hunt
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Easter brunch buffet
Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based free-lance writer and Society of American Travel Writers award winner.