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'aori! 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'aori 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'aori!
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!
Join us for this historical event as Lacey enjoys its first annual Polynesian Festival! Lacey PolyFest is a non-profit event comprised of dedicated individuals, families, and local organizations who are volunteering their time and skills to celebrate the region's cultural diversity. Huraiti Mana will be joining in on the fun with an Ori Tahiti performance at 12:20PM! We hope to see you there!
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2019
Time: 10AM - 6PM; Huraiti Mana performs at 12:20PM
Place: Regional Athletic Complex 8345 Steilacoom Rd SE Olympia, WA 98513
10:30-10:50 Laumua Students - RJ Maae/Irene Tavai
11:00-11:30 Hula Halau ‘O Keala’akua Naniloa Mana’oakamai - Charmaine Galiza
11:40-12:00 FACES Dance Company - Kristine Keliiki
12:10-12:40 Guma ‘Imahe - Joel Larimer
12:50-1:10 Huraiti Mana - Kalei’okalani Matsui
1:20-1:50 Poerava - Monique Maiava
2:00-2:30 NW Blend - Alika Kaeka
2:40-3:10 Ke Liko A’e O Lei Lehua e Kupuaokalani - Kapua Quenga
3:20-3:50 Lemana Polynesian Revue & Laumua Boys - Anne Mavaega & RJ Maae
4:00-4:30 JBLM Band - Sgt. Walker
4:40-5:00 Mama Lusi - Lusiana Mapu-Lara
5:10-5:45 Te Fare O Tamatoa - Malia Radford
5:55-6:15 Amataga Fou - Irene Tavai
6:20-6:50 Lemana Band - Anne Mavaega
7:00-7:30 Ms B Royal - Jessica Logologo
Join us for our third year at the API Heritage Month Celebration! We love coming back to this festive celebration year after year to share with our family and friends all we've been doing these past few sleepy winter months! Make an entire day out of it and enjoy all of the spectacular performances, food, and workshops.
Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month Celebration is presented by the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC) in partnership with Seattle Center Festál — a year-long series of community events that celebrate the cultural richness of communities in Seattle.
API Heritage Month Celebration marks the beginning of the officially proclaimed and recognized Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) of May in the Greater Seattle area. It aims to preserve and promote the culture, heritage, and contributions of Asian Pacific Islanders (API) and Asian Pacific Americans (APA).
We are so very excited and honored to see once again the many donors of the incredible organization API Chaya. Join API Chaya for a night to celebrate the many survivors in our community - celebrate our strength, our unity, and our loving bonds. Huraiti Mana will open the night with a powerful celebration of dance!
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Place: The Seattle Westin, 1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
RSVP: Purchase tickets online
The Seattle Children's Museum is celebrating its 40th Birthday! And Huraiti Mana will be joining them once again with a fun and festive celebration of programs, events, and community-building. You're welcome to RSVP for this event and support Seattle Children Museum's expanding programs that increase access for underserved communities and families, and so much more!
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Place: Seattle Children's Museum 305 Harrison St. Seattle, WA 98109
RSVP: Purchase tickets online
The Seattle Aquarium is hosting its annual Hawai'i Weekend from Saturday, January 19 - Monday, January 21, featuring the marine life that make up the tropical ecosystem of Hawaiian waters. Huraiti Mana will be participating in Hawai'i Weekend with Story Time and Hula Workshops. Our work in hula is inseparable from the land, the sea, the earth, and all life around us. Kalei'okalani, ha'api'i of Huraiti Mana will be leading story telling and workshops for keiki all weekend long. Invite all of your family - the young and the young at heart - and find the entire list of performances and programs, here!
Organizations we love