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STAR-BULLETIN / 1999
Equestrian culture has been part of Big Island life for more than 160 years, and is being celebrated in this Year of the Paniolo. Head to Parker Ranch for exhibitions and opportunities to ride the range.
Honor paniolo legacy and tradition on Big Isle
This is the Year of the Paniolo, in recognition of the Hawaiian cowboy, and the contribution they made to local culture and the American West, and nowhere is the tradition stronger than on the Big Island.
This month, Parker Ranch's Visitor Center & Museum will host the "Paniolo Hall of Fame" initiated by the Oahu Cattlemen's Association to recognize paniolo statewide.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Feb. 2 commemorates cowboys of Japanese descent. Many got their start at Parker Ranch, founded in 1847. On festival day, Parker Ranch's two Historic Homes will offer art displays, crafts and traditional Japanese music and tea ceremonies. Call (808) 885-5433 or visit www.ParkerRanch.com.
The paniolo legacy began in 1792, when Capt. George Vancouver brought cattle to the island as gifts for King Kamehameha I. Mexican cowboys were brought in to teach Hawaiians how to ride horses and raise cattle.