One of the most popular destinations in Hawaii is the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore. It had very humble beginnings, but is now considered the favorite paid attraction on Oahu. The Center gives an in depth cultural experience with Seven Polynesian Countries including Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, Aetearoa, Marquesas, and the host islands of Hawaii.
There is something for everyone at this attraction. You can spend a whole afternoon and evening learning about the unique traditions of these Polynesian identities. Each Polynesian Culture has a village where you observe and participate. There are demonstrations by native Samoans, who show you how to start a fire by rubbing sticks together, cut a coconut in two with a rock, and climb a tall coconut tree.
In the Maori Village, you can twirl poi balls, play a stick game, or get a temporary tattoo. Observe Hawaiian quilting, learn basic hula steps in the Hawaiian village or improve your understanding about local root crops. Play on the huge log drums in the Fijian village.
Adults and children can make native crafts in several villages, including woven hats or fragrant fresh flower leis. They can also fish from the pier at the Tahitian Village. One game everyone enjoys is the shuffleboard in the Tongan Village. Enjoy demonstrations by skilled Polynesian making tikis and useful and decorative tools. You can learn the basics of playing the ukulele near the mission home.
Take a canoe ride and drift leisurely over the lagoon guided by a university student with a long pole. They occasionally get tipped off into the lagoon. Guests are entertained and educated as they pass under several bridges and past the Polynesian villages.
Every day (except Sunday) there is a canoe pageant at 2:30 p.m. Each Polynesian culture is represented by colorful costumes, dancing and singing on the canoes as they are maneuvered around the lagoon. Visitors are encouraged to capture photos of their experiences throughout the center until the night show begins.
There is an exhibit of the Iosepa, a working double hulled canoe made for the center. It is patterned after those used by the ancient Polynesian navigators of the South Pacific.
Authentic Polynesian food is available at various diners. An underground oven is dug and they cook a full pig for the Ali’i Luau nightly. Light snacks and drinks are also available. Fine dining starts at 5:00 p.m., which includes lobster and other delicious favorites.
Brigham Young University Hawaii is where it all started, as students sought to support their education through sharing their cultures. The majority of the employees are the students from the nearby campus. Guides are available to help you learn of the history of the center. You can also take a relaxing bus ride to the local LDS Temple and visitor’s center in the community of Laie.
The Polynesian Cultural Center experience culminates in a large theater including a light and sound show entitled “Ha, Breath of Life”. This masterpiece tells the story of a young boy, Mana, and his experiences of growing into manhood in the Polynesian Islands.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation traditions and cultures in the islands of the Pacific. Many of these students return to their homelands after graduation to become leaders and share the skills and knowledge they have obtained. The center is considered one of the world’s most successful theme attractions, and was built in 1963 by Mormon labor missionaries (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
To get more information and see everything that is available in depth take a moment to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center website. Aloha.