To our fēti'i, our 'ohana, our family:
Our Fa'a'ori 2020 has been cancelled as we continue to monitor closely the effects of the pandemic across our communities. Awfully so, studies have shown that COVID19 infection rates are highest among Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian populations in Washington, Oregon, and California. While we are saddened by the cancellation of our event, we make the decision proudly and without doubt in order to best serve our people and our communities of Pacific Islanders and the greater Seattle area.
Reminisce with us at last year's First Annual Fa'a'ori and the beautiful moments shared, the tears, the laughs, the 'ori 'ori!
We continue, we remain resilient, we send our love.
'Ia ora na! I am Kalei'okalani Matsui, Ra'atira a Ha'api'i of Huraiti Mana, our Polynesian Dance Troupe based in Seattle, WA. Leaders in the 'ori community, Leolani Gallardo and Christine Apa from Pupu 'Ori Te Aho Nui (based in California) began Dance Against Discrimination, a movement encouraging dance instructors to host donation-based virtual classes to raise funds for organizations lifting up Black lives. As a survivor myself of sexual violence, a daughter of a strong Black woman, and a mana vahine seeking to create a greater difference in this world for women, I chose an organization empowering Black Women and survivors of sexual assault. My initial search led me to the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, which listed Black Women's Blueprint as a culturally specific resource.
Join Huraiti Mana as we raise funds to support Black Women's Blueprint (BWB), an organization that fights to end sexual violence against Black Women and Girls. BWB's purpose is to take action to secure social, political and economic equality for Every Black Woman in American Society now.
Event: 'Ori Tahiti workshop
Date: Monday, July 13, 2020
Time: 6:00 - 7:30PM PDT
How-to Register Online
You MUST register by 7/13/20 at 4pm PDT to ensure you receive the zoom info before class! Link in bio! (If you don't have a gmail address, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org)
*To donate to Black Women's Blueprint:
You may also support another activist organization of your choice that is actively fighting racism or a nonprofit that is supporting Black lives
If you have any issues with this form please DM @huraitimana on Instagram.
Remember, you do not have to participate in the dance workshop itself, but we would love to have you participate in raising funds together, for the cause! Also, I will be able to send a link of the class recording so you can participate later!
Northwest Folklife 2020 went virtual, as so many gatherings have this year, providing opportunity for artists of the Pacific Northwest to share out anything they wanted - a workshop, choreography, story-telling, their laughter and knowledge, their passion and expression - on a virtual stage. A special māuruuru to the community folks who so kindly and so generously donated to Huraiti Mana! Your donations go toward cultural learning opportunities for our students such as attending workshops with other professionals and travel fees, as well as competition registration fees and more!
Huraiti Mana hosted a Stay At Home lei-making workshop after a month of closures that continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. To connect together and celebrate community, while also promoting safety for all our huraiti, we hosted an online lei workshop with supplies found in-home! Traditionally made using lā'ī or ti-leaf, we created haku lei po'o (woven with three-ply braid, worn around the head) with paper bags & trash bags! Though we didn't have the ease of in-person teaching to learn this new skill, many of the huraiti completed their first-ever haku lei! We shared in many mo'olelo of lei-making, the stories behind the traditions, and shared in oli (chants). E ho'omaika'i, congratulations to everyone who joined and challenged themselves creatively & artistically during this time. A hui hou! Until we meet again!
Huraiti Mana is returning for another year at the Seattle Aquarium Hawai'i Weekend! We are so excited to be a part of this local focus on Hawai'i's waters and life. The weekend begins early with a 21+ After-Hours Beach Party for Aquarium members and goes into the long Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King JR weekend. All throughout Huraiti Mana will be sharing in performance, story telling, and hula workshop to bring to the forefront the histories and legacy of the Pacific.
"We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands, but by the greatness of our oceans.We are the sea; we are the ocean. Oceania is us." -Epeli Hau’ofa
Mahalo to Tongan and Fijian anthropologist and writer Epeli Hau'ofa for his words of wisdom about who is defined by and who defines Oceania.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest in the world, and our peoples navigated it in its entirety, populating all the many islands our peoples call home. Join us and the Seattle Aquarium as they discuss the sea life of Hawai'i's waters and invite Huraiti Mana to share our people's intrinsic relationship to ka moana.
After-Hours Beach Party
Thursday, January 16 | 6:30PM - 10PM
Performances 7:40PM & 8:45PM
Saturday, January 18 - Monday, January 20
-Story Telling every day 11AM - 12PM
-Hula Workshop every day 1:45PM - 2:45PM
Huraiti Mana held practice on Wednesday night and from practice, took a 3-hour road trip to Vancouver, Washington! Arriving in Vancouver around midnight, we settled in for some rest before our early-morning check-in at 4 Days of Aloha 2019! What an incredible experience, our first time at this amazing Hawai'i craft & workshop, dance competition, kanikapila, and festival all-in-one event. We were able to stay only for the first two days of the festival, during which we three - myself, my huraiti mama, and my huraiti - each took various workshop classes. The morning of the first day, we gathered together in a college campus cafeteria and opened ceremonies with an Oli Pule (chant). The mana in the room was palpable, the 'āina coming up through my feet and spine and out into the world. I was so honored, humbled, (and quietly starstruck) to meet Kumu Hula Keali'i Reichel, Kumu Hula Snowbird Bento, and master lei weaver Aunty Rae Pacheco, as they each so willingly, so kindly, so beautifully shared their 'ike & mana'o, their no'eau & aloha with each of the many hula 'olapa, kumu hula, and interested, invested cultural learners in each of their workshops. Our huraiti Andrea partook in classes with Ra'atira Tunui Tully whose intensely creative ori Tahiti style inspired her solo competition drive; as well as with Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine, whose beloved and late sister, Aunty Diva, first began 4 Days of Aloha 13 years ago. My Huraiti Mama participated in lei wili with myself and, on her own, the lau niu pāpale (coconut leaf hat) weaving course! Now we're trying to figure out how to get coconut leaves in the Pacific Northwest to continue her hat weaving (she's so excited of her newfound creative joy!).
This is a Native Hawaiian event by the people, for the people, with an overwhelming grace and openness and welcome to everyone and anyone deeply interested in expanding their cultural knowledge of our Pacific peoples. It first began as a means to bring together the large diaspora of Native Hawaiian peoples to continue practicing their heritage and traditions in their newfound homes in the Pacific Northwest. Each year the event has grown (last year it was 3 Days of Aloha!). Our first day I reconnected with Ra'atira I haven't seen in so long, with classmates from High School and from college and with my Native Hawaiian roots, realizing how small the world is, how powerfuly magnificent the strength is of Native Hawaiian people, and how interconnected we all are. That night ended with a special pāʻina or party, kanikapila style with live singing and hula dancers coming to the stage should they know the song being sung. All night we watched as hula ʻōlapa from Hālau Hula (now from all over the country!) rushed to the stage and performed various choreographed styles of the same song, all simultaneously becoming the same story but in different ways. The audience cheered each dancer, mele after mele, song after song. Nights like this are so beautifully Hawaiian.
Near the end of the night, nephew of Kumu Vicky, and son of Aunty Diva began strumming chords familiar to my heart. My body became warm as he described the meaning of He Hawai'i Au, a mele about the difficult journey that many Hawaiians face; realizing where home lies, where our place is in this world. What does it mean to be Hawaiian?
I began walking slowly to the stage and realized that I was the only dancer approaching. As I stood by the stage, Kumu Kaloku Holt continued his story. This song was the last song his mother performed in this life.
And I knew I had to dance this with all my mana and aloha, for her.
I thought about what this song meant for me and for us all as Native Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. We continuously search for our place, for our meaning away from our indigenous lands. We find each other. We seek out each other. But then, we realize, we will never have to go through this life wandering. We are never far and adrift. Rather, the knowledge that we need lives within us, the home that we seek is within our hearts.
No matter where we are, we are, and always will be
I kēia pō eia au me ʻoe
Kēia pō ua hoʻi mai au
He loa ka helena ma ke ala hele
E huli i wahi ma kēia ao
Maopopo a ua ʻike hoʻi
Ka home i loko o kuʻu puʻuwai
Ua hoʻi mai au, ke ʻike nei au
ʻAʻole au e ʻauana hou
Ke maopopo he Hawaiʻi au
Tonight I am here with you
Tonight, I have returned
Long was my journey on the path
To seek a place in this world
I now clearly see and understand
The home within my heart
I returned when I realized this
I will not wander again
For I understand, I am Hawaiian
Mahalo nui loa to the Kukui Foundation for creating and perpetuating and growing this amazing Polynesian community in the Pacific Northwest. Home has never felt so very near. A reminder, that Hawaiians will thrive wherever we are, as we are. Mahalo nui loa.
Aloha a ia ora na!
Sending a mahalo a mauruuru roa - many, many thanks to all of you who joined Huraiti Mana at our First Annual Fa'a'ori! We hope you enjoyed spending time with all of us for this special occasion. Our goal in this showcase was to give our huraiti a cause to dance! We wanted to create a welcoming space for and give thanks to our supportive 'ohana, as well as celebrate with and contribute to our Polynesian Islander community here in the Pacific Northwest.
In our first event, we truly, truly enjoyed ourselves. The months of planning, weeks of organizing, and countless hours of sewing, weaving, practicing, and so much more has been an incredibly fulfilling experience for each of us at Huraiti Mana. The Fa'a'ori has brought us all closer together in more ways than one, and we could not have done it without the support of our loved ones.
We have learned a lot and are so grateful that you chose to give us your help, time, and love. We hope you choose to continue on this journey of growth with Huraiti Mana.
Mahalo nui loa to those who helped sponsor our event: 4Culture, Sharon H. Chang Photography, Koloa Kreations Catering, and Paradise Cakes. You are incredible, talented, and amazing people!
Mauruuru to all of our fabulous volunteers! Our early-morning set-up crew, collage-creaters, ushers, admissions crew, merchandise booth, Lei’ala’s Lei Stand, regalia-making crew, incredible emcee Aunty Jeannie, my nephews (the toddlers collecting your ticket stubs), o ku’u ipo and DJ Kitman, runners, and clean-up crew; all so selfless and giving, so dedicated and supportive.
Mahalo to our vendors Wing Luke Museum, Kiana’s Hawaiian Jewelry, Franada ‘Ohana Bake Sale, Ken Tran videography, and once again Koloa Kreations and Sharon H. Chang photography.
Many thanks to Kiana’s Hawaiian Jewelry, Wing Luke Museum, Seattle Mariners and Seattle Children’s Museum for donating to our door raffle grand prize! And much mahalo to our fabulous emcee Aunty Jeannie for her donations of all of our game giveaways.
We shared laughs, stories, tears of joy, and mana – our life energy, our spiritual power. That is what we hope to continue to share with you at Huraiti Mana.
A moe na te hiro’a! A moe na te iho tumu!
Think about your culture! Think about your identity!
WE are Huraiti Mana.
Ha’api’i/Ra’atira, Huraiti Mana
Welcome to Huraiti Mana's First Annual Fa'a'ori!
Fa'aori is of Reo Tahiti, the Tahitian language, meaning "to cause to dance." Through dance, Huraiti Mana has been able to grow a community of diverse, hardworking, insightful, and passionate Huraiti, "skilled dancers," coming from all over Washington, from across the Pacific, and from all levels of experience with Polynesian culture, dance, and practices. Our First Annual Fa'aori serves to demonstrate the culture we have created together that embodies the deeply-rooted Polynesian values of aloha (love), 'ohana (family), and ha'aheo (pride).
Join us as we feature 'ono grinds (delicious food!) from Koloa Kreations Catering; vendors including Kiana's Hawaiian jewelry, Franada Family Bake Sale, Wing Luke Museum, and more; a fresh palm-leaf weaving workshop; dessert by Cakes of Paradise; and a performance featuring all of our Huraiti in originally choreographed hula and ori Tahiti numbers. Come out to support your 'ohana, from our youngest huraiti to our newest dancers!
Every ticket purchased is entered into a door raffle for a grand prize!
Saturday, July 6, 2019 from 12:30PM - 4:00PM at the Nisei Vets Hall in Seattle's Chinatown-International District.
E haere mai!
Purchase tickets at the door:
Taffy and the amazing staff and volunteers at UTOPIA Seattle has kindly invited Huraiti Mana back to join them in their annual Lū'au celebration! United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance, also known as UTOPIA is a queer and trans people of color-led, grassroots organization born out of the struggles, challenges, strength, and resilience of the Queer and Trans Pacific Islander (QTPI – “Q-T-pie”) community in South King County. Support this non-profit organization and join in the celebration complete with a full lū'au feast, Pasifika entertainment, traditional music, and so much great company. Mahalo & mauruuru!
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019
Time: 6PM Registration
Place: Welcome Palace 21031 International Blvd. Seatac, WA 98198
Purhcase tickets online.
Huraiti Mana will be joining for another consecutive year, the Annual Northwest Folklife Festival with an Ori Tahiti Ahuroa dance workshop on Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 3:00PM - 4:20PM. Please join Kalei'okalani Onzuka Matsui as she shares with you basic steps of Ori Tahiti, original choreography of an ahuroa or mehura, and a look toward reo Tahiti, Tahitian language.
Date: Sunday, May 26, 2019
Time: 3PM - 4:20PM
Place: Seattle Center Armory Theater 4 (upstairs)
Event: 48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival
A full itinerary of the weekend's events will be up on May 1, 2019!
Organizations we love