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Friday, November 16, 2012

Celebrate Peace & Abundance at the Chinatown Makahiki Day-Long Celebration, November 17th


Herb Kane's - Makahiki

Chinatown is known for drawing crowds on First Friday, for parades and lion dances of the multiethnic winter Chinese New Year celebrations, mamo Arts in May, and concerts in the street pretty much anytime. The calendar of events entices visitors and local folks to visit downtown Honolulu. But, why no Hawaiian celebrations in what was once the ancient village of Kou?
Sandy Pohl, force behind many of the Chinatown events and owner of the Louis Pohl Gallery on Bethel Street, often looks up at her late husband’s painting of the procession of Lono, the god of abundance and prosperity. Renowned Hawai‘i artist Louis Pohl taught art at Kamehameha Schools. Every afternoon, after his students left, he would go to study with Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui. His paintings often reflected Pukui’s teaching. Calling it “an ‘aha’ moment,” Sandy Pohl was talking with Barbara Hao, who gathered Hawaiian artisans to be represented in the gallery. The two women agreed on the need for a cultural event. Pohl says, “Our eyes went to Louis’ painting of Lono, and the Chinatown Makahiki plan was instantly clear.”
In a refreshing change from months of election mania, the festival will recall the ancient times when war and politics were kapu, not allowed. Peace and abundance will be celebrated.
On Nov. 17 The Chinatown Arts District will be filled with the energy of the makahiki. Honoring Lono, the daylong events, free and open to the public, will fill Pauahi and Smith streets and the adjacent Smith-Beretania Urban Park.
Lunch will be affordable and accessible all along Pauahi Street. Food trucks, organized by Street Grindzs, include Local Stop, Five-O Ribs, Hawai‘i’s Fried Musubi, Hula Shrimp and Kona Ice.
Some 30 quality crafters will also line Pauahi Street, organized by Art & Flea. Cultural experiences, coordinated by Ke‘eaumoku Kapu, include the making of pa‘i ‘ai, lauhala weaving, feather work, kapa, ‘öpae trap and warrior helmet weaving.
The Hawaiian skill games and demonstrations, rarely presented in public, include lua, pähoa (clubs), pa‘a uma (arm wrestling), häkökö (upper body wrestling) and häpai pöhaku (stone lift). At 7 a.m. an altar to Lono will be built in the park. Protocol begins at 10 a.m.
Civic leaders will speak and at noon, a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band will be followed by the command to “let the games begin.”
Lynn Cook  - Kai Wai Ola, November, 2012

WHEN:   Saturday, November 17                                                                    
TIME:      10am to 8pm                                                                     
WHERE:  Pauahi & Smith Streets and Smith-Beretania Urban Park    
COST:     FREE                                                                                    
INFO:      Sandy Pohl - 521-1812                                                        
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