Maui Arts & Entertainment

International Festival of Canoes, Part 5 – Hawaiian Art Gallery

June 2, 2008, 2:12 PM HST
* Updated January 4, 8:34 PM
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The 2008 International Festivals of Canoes in Lahaina (held from May 18-21) featured a special attraction this year: a Maoli Art exhibit featuring native Hawaiian art by Native Hawaiian artists. Promoters Ianuali Kaonohiokalanikoholua and Daniel Anthony share the wisdom of the artists and the inspiration they draw in part from canoe culture and the water that surrounds the Hawaiian islands.

[flashvideo file= /] BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Hundreds of spectators gathered along Kamehameha Iki Beach Park in Lahaina over the weekend to witness the ceremonial Lunching of Canoes. Master carvers from around Polynesia spent the last two weeks shaping their canoes out of raw albesia logs as part of the annual International Festival of Canoes. It’s a celebration established to keep the Polynesian voyaging tradition alive. Before the launch, each vessel was connected by a ti leaf rope to a stake in the ground, symbolizing its umbilical connection with the land. The master carvers were then presented with a ceremonial adze with which to cut the chord and sever the canoe’s connection with the land. The canoes were set free, signifying a symbolic birthing of the canoes, and the complete transformation of the trees into a functional vessel. (Posted by Wendy Osher: Monday, June 02, 2008)

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