Chihuly Garden & Glass celebrated the arts with "It All Starts with Art" program on Saturday, February 29, 2020 with invited organizations including Urban Artworks, Youth in Focus, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Vera Project, and so much more. As a part of Seattle Center Festál, Huraiti Mana was also invited to perform hula and 'ori Tahiti (Tahitian Dance) beneath beautiful glass sculptures in the heart of the museum. We truly enjoyed the opportunity to experience this museum in such a special way, showcasing a diversity of arts offered and welcoming communities active in Seattle. A special mahalo and congratulations to Hilary and Sherrie of Chihuly Garden & Glass and Steve and Vivian of Seattle Center Festál for such incredible coordination of a successful and warm event. Mahalo nui for your warmth and aloha. A hui hou! Until next time!
We were so fortunate and blessed to be able to celebrate the launch party of the Pacific Islander Health Board of Washington! Led by amazing Pacific Islanders, in true indigenous fashion, they celebrated with 'ono food, talking story, delicious fruit drinks by Otai Kingdom, the must-have Electric Boogie, and performances by the University of Washington's Polynesian Student Alliance and, your own, Huraiti Mana! We always enjoy sharing what we can of 'Ōlelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language), Hula, 'Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance), and Reo Tahiti (Tahitian language) across Seattle and more -- but it is truly special to be able to share with our Pacific Islander communities. We had a fantastic time connecting and reconnecting with the leaders in our community of all ages, sharing laughs and excitement for what the future holds for our islander 'ohana here in Wakinekona, Washington. Māuruuru roa to Lika, Toka, Lynette, Taffy and all at U.T.O.P.I.A. for all of the beautiful work you do for our 'ohana, our feti'i, our families.
"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. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Seattle Aquarium, sharing about the sea life of Hawai'i's waters and our people's intrinsic relationship to ka moana.
We began the Hawai'i Weekend celebration with sharing our favorite mele 'auana at the Seattle Aquarium after-hours party and then moved into the weekend with storytelling and kamali'i (youth) hula workshops. Keiki shared of the meaning of the aloha spirit and how hula is not a representation of a story but rather that it is the story itself - your kino becomes the elemental vessel of Hawai'i. How special for us to have this opportunity to dance hula of home, share about home, and connect to our home, right here in our second home in the Pacific Northwest, right here in Seattle.
No matter where we are, we always keep one foot always on the sand.
Huraiti Mana dressed and ready for their show on Saturday, October 12, 2019 as a part of the New Burke Museum Grand Opening. We are so thankful to the amazing staff who put together a weekend-long event filled with incredible communities from across the Pacific Northwest. The New Burke Museum is now 66% times larger than its previous build and is currently showcasing exhibits of culture, geology & paleontology, biology, and so much more! View the world from the inside out and learn about the many who call this area, home.
E ku'u kaikua'ana and I celebrated the Fourth of July in typical Huraiti Mana fashion - dancing! We enjoyed this breath-taking view of the lake while performing hula and Ori Tahiti numbers for our friends' annual July 4th celebration her in Washington state, right before the sun set and fireworks lit up the Pacific Northwest sky. Mahalo nui for having us!
Mahalo nui loa to Anne Wily-Mavaega and the many others who planned the first-ever Lacey PolyFest in June 2019! The day started off windy and dark but as the dances kept coming and the food still cooking, the sun broke out over the beautiful festival of brown Polynesians in the Lacey community and greater Pacific Northwest. We've mentioned before how it is often that "Hawai'i-themed" or "Polynesian-themed" events can often be had at the unfortunate exclusion of Polynesian people itself; however, the many organizations we've been so fortunate to have the opportunity to work and partner with has led the way in our community to create events by the people and for the people. Lacey PolyFest was one of those amazing events that brought together the Polynesian community, the dancing community, the singing community, and all those who share in the love of Polynesian culture.
Anne did so much research reaching out to every Polynesian group she could find in the Pacific Northwest and created a stunning program of unending performance, song, dance, food, jewelry, and much more. We ended up spending the entire day at the festival enjoying this home away from island home. Mahalo a mauruuru roa to the Lacey Polyfest team! We can't wait for Lacey Polyfest 2020!
Mahalo to Kalli and all those who brought Huraiti Mana to the Seattle Mariners! It was such a thrill to be carted through backstage areas of Safeco Field to perform just before the start of the game. This was a fun treat for the huraiti who joined us for a summer ball game hula performance - who would have thought! It also was an incredibly epic ball game with runs after runs! With my Grandfather a baseball legend of my hometown community, I'd say baseball holds a special place in my heart. Let's go Mariners! Let's go Huraiti Mana!
Sunday, May 5, 2019, Huraiti Mana joined countless other performance groups and vendors for a day-long celebration at the Seattle Center Armory as a part of the Seattle Center's Festal programs. A big mahalo to Vivian, Peter, and the entire voluntary crew behind the scenes of the annual API Heritage Month Celebration! This year, like every year, we at Huraiti Mana sincerely and truly enjoyed ourselves. We absolutely love the opportunity to celebrate our hard work and accomplishments and perform with and for our 'ohana.
This year we performed 'Ori Tahiti numbers featuring our basics class, our intermediate class, and our largest tamari'i (children) performance, ever! E ho'omaika'i to all the first-time performers from our youngest tamari'i to our newest huraiti.
When onstage, I'm alight with a fire and energy and life. We strive to have that same feeling of empowerment live in each of our huraiti and in each member of the audience sharing in our performance. Through song and dance, through reciprocal cultural practice, and through open hearts and minds, we are able to share our mana, our spiritual power, and move through this life, together.
A big mahalo and ho'omaika'i to API Chaya! Mahalo for inviting Huraiti Mana to celebrate with you at your very special, warm, and welcoming gala and congratulations on such a successful fundraising event! API Chaya, with its amazing donors and family, was able to raise over $340,000 to support survivors at their annual Gala on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at The Westin Seattle.
The theme of this year's Gala: "We Believe Survivors." API Chaya serves and provides resources for survivors of violence and exploitation - they center survivors' "dignity, autonomy, and leadership" in all the work they do. API Chaya served 785 survivors and their dependents (families) and trained over 12,000 service providers, community, and faith leaders in 2018 alone.
Huraiti Mana is blessed to be a part of an amazingly supportive, loving, and caring community. We hoped to bring to their event a cause for celebration, and excitement for life, body positivity and ownership, and a joy that transcends across all cultures, with the joy of dance. Mahalo nui loa for inviting us into your home, your mission, and your community. E Mālama Pono!
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