Ko’olau: A True Story of Kaua’i

March 3, 2010, 10:21 AM HST · Updated March 3, 10:25 AM
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A unique and interesting portrayal of the story of Kaluaiko’olau will be brought to the MACC’s Castle Theater on Sunday March, 7 at 5 p.m.

Click to enlarge. Poster courtesy MACC.

Image from Ko'olau: A True Story of Kauai. Courtesy MACC.

The puppet performance by Tom Lee is an intimate and inventive multi-media presentation based on the true story of Kaluaiko’olau, the native Hawaiian paniolo who achieved legendary status by resisting forced exile to Kalaupapa in the 1890s. This tale of sacrifice, love and the power of the human spirit is revealed in an entrancing production employing the rare form of Japanese puppetry kuruma ningyo (wheeled puppets).

Lee explains, “Many years ago, while visiting a family friend on Kauai, I first learned of the story of Kaluaiko’olau. This legendary tale of sacrifice and love captured my imagination as it has that of many others. The words of Pi’ilani, who accompanied Ko’olau and their son into Kalalau Valley in 1892, are the source for all these works.”

“I hope our telling of the story adds to the understanding of Hawaii beyond the vacation land stereotype and the historical pressures faced by her land and people. In the end, this story belongs to Pi’ilani and her family and we offer this production as a gift to their memory,” said Lee.

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Tickets are $22 (plus applicable fees) and are available by phone at 242-7459. The show is recommended for ages 13 and older. Special prices for UH Maui College students and classroom teachers are available with appropriate ID.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Supporting information provided courtesy The Maui Arts & Cultural Center)

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