Fairmont Kea Lani hosts ‘Gathering of the Voyagers’ to celebrate Hawaiian, Polynesian culture
Fairmont Kea Lani, in partnership with the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society, will host “Gathering of the Voyagers,” a three-day celebration of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture that brings together revered voyagers, navigators, canoe builders and cultural practitioners.
“Gathering of the Voyagers” invites the community to come together for a weekend of ceremony, demonstrations, mākeke and kanikapila at Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, a location historically significant to Polynesia’s rich seafaring culture.
Gathering of the Voyagers will begin on Oct. 13 with a Hi‘uwai and E Ala Ē Ceremony followed by traditional protocol to welcome the arrival of the voyagers. Festivities continue throughout the weekend with powerful presentations with revered practitioners, culturally-rooted culinary offerings, paddling voyages, a native Hawaiian fashion show, live entertainment and Heiva I Maui, a Tahitian dance competition for both soloists and small groups.
A memorial paddle-out will also take place, along with fundraising opportunities to honor and support the impacted communities of Maui.
“We are voyagers,” said Anela Gutierrez, executive director of the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society. “From our ancient origins across the vast Pacific Ocean we arrived by double-hulled canoes and made these islands our home. Carrying with us the plants and animals to sustain us, the values to carry us forward, and our families to continue our traditions into the future. ‘Gathering of the Voyagers’ is a celebration of our great Pacific ‘ohana and the cultures and values which guide us.”
On Oct. 15, registered paddlers will have an opportunity to embark on a 10-mile voyage around Molokini, departing from Keoneopolo Beach fronting Fairmont Kea Lani at 8 a.m. Gathering of the Voyagers will conclude with a traditional Hawaiian ʻAwa ceremony, where invited participants will join together and reflect on the weekend.
“Now more than ever, serving our community, perpetuating Hawaiian culture, and paving the way for future generations is incredibly important,” said Michael Pye, regional vice president, Hawai‘i and general manager of the Fairmont Kea Lani.
All presentations, demonstrations, shows and exhibits at “Gathering of the Voyagers” are free and open to the public with the exception of the paddle around Molokini; paid registration is required to participate in that paddle, but all are welcome to partake in the oceanfront celebration.
Throughout the weekend, a local mākeke will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. where a world of handmade products and unique Hawai‘i-made gifts will be available for purchase.
Additional information can be found at www.gatheringofthevoyagers.com. Support for the event is provided by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority through the Community Enrichment Program.
Schedule of Events:
- 6 a.m. Hiʻuwai and E Ala Ē Ceremony
- 7 a.m. Opening Ceremony, Voyager Canoe Arrival
- 10 a.m. The Moʻolelo of Wailea, Talk Story with Kainoa Horcajo
- 12 p.m. Paddle Making Demonstration with Malama Chun
- 2 p.m. Canoe Building with Kalai Waʻa Charlie Noland
- 4 p.m. Polynesian Dance & Drumming Demonstration with Kumu Mana Kekahuna
- 6 p.m. Heiva I Maui Opening Ceremony
- 7 p.m. Star Navigation with Kala Baybayan-Tanaka
- 7 a.m. Community Memorial Paddle-Out
- 10 a.m. ‘We the Indigenous Migrators’ Talk Story with Kahu Lyons Naone
- 12 a.m. ‘We the Navigators’ Talk Story with Sesario Sewralur
- 1:30 p.m. PōMahina Designs Fashion Show
- 2 p.m. Heiva I Maui, Tahitian Dance Competition
- 6 p.m. Kanikapila featuring Kika Kila Band, Ron Kualaʻau, Kūlia, Wilmont Kahaiali’i, Dayan Kai and more
- 8 a.m. Voyage around Molokini, *Advance Registration required
- 12 p.m. Closing Ceremony