La'ie Walking Tour: Hukilau Beach

Hukilau Beach
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For those who live in La'ie, Hukilau carries with it a story never to be forgotten. The community of La'ie has always been close-knit and around 1937 members of the community had committed themselves to join in contributing their income in building a tabernacle in Honolulu, however in time many of the families could not keep their commitments. It was soon decided that holding a hukilau-luau (fishing festival and feast) as fund raising was the answer. Visitors and guests were treated to Polynesian activities beginning with fishing and other activities such as learning to weave coconut hats and making leis. Later an "imu" (underground oven) was prepared for an afternoon luau. By 1941 three or four hukilau-luau's had been held which contributed to the building of the tabernacle. In 1947 a hukilau program was established which helped pay for a local chapel that was situated where the La'ie Temple now stands. The hukilau continued to be a source of income until 1970 and was also an inspiration for the establishment of the Polynesian Cultural Center, which continues to draw close to one million visitors a year.

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© 2001, Michael Sarafian