Who doesn't like a good story? In ancient Hawai'i (as well as many other cultures around the world that subscribed to an oral tradition), storytelling was an art as well as an important method of conveying knowledge through the generations. Whether for entertainment or instruction, stories stick in the mind and bring life to past events and future dreams.
On Sunday, May 26, beginning at 3 p.m., the Maui Arts & Cultural Center will celebrate and continue that tradition with a free storytelling event on the pa--the rock-faced grassy mound on the south side of the lawn, specifically dedicated to hula and Hawaiian cultural practices.
"'Aukelenuiaiku" is a traditional Hawaiian coming-of-age story that has been condensed and used as background for this particular presentation. It uses hula, chant and Hawaiian language to relay the story of a young man's quest to find the waters of Kane (the waters of life) and to learn what every young man must know to attain maturity.
“‘Aukelenuiaiku” is a Hawaiian coming-of-age story, telling of a young man’s quest to find the waters of Kane--the waters of life.
Photo courtesy of Maui Arts & Cultural Center
The story will be performed in Hawaiian chant and hula by students of Lahainaluna High School and members of Halau Hula Kauluokala under the direction of Kumu Hula Uluwehi Guerrero.
Pomaika'i Krueger, Hawaiian studies instructor at Lahainaluna, developed the presentation. The Lahainaluna students took on the challenge by their instructor to bring the story to life for today's audience. Krueger worked with them to learn new dances and chants, and to express a truly Hawaiian myth in Hawaiian language. (A narrator will guide the audience through the story in English as it unfolds.)
Chairs will be set up on the grass for those who prefer to be seated, but the audience--especially family and friends groups--are also invited to bring their own blankets or mats to relax on the lawn.
This is a rare opportunity to immerse into the art of storytelling. Audiences of all ages will enjoy this glimpse into Hawaiian culture.