The Polynesian Cultural Centre is situated 42 miles from Honolulu, and so our journey began with our bus driver Koko navigating and narrating the long drive through gorgeous Hawaiian mountains and valleys, telling us of the history and mythology of the places we passed. We were welcomed at the Polynesian Cultural Center by a light drizzle of rain, that fortunately cleared up, and beautiful, beautiful flora. PCC is a wonderful place to visit just for the beauty of the grounds alone.
The Polynesian Cultural Center
Not long after arriving a canoe pageant was held on a lagoon that ran through the middle of the grounds. To the tunes of native music, six of the main islands celebrated in the centre, (Aotearoa / New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga), put on a performance of dancing in lavish costumes for our entertainment. It was a wonderful overview of the different cultures.
Maori performers from Aotearoa / New Zealand
The Maori Haka
Samoan Performers - 'The Happy People'
Love their outfits!
Next Martin and I took our own canoe ride on the lagoon, where we were able to get a quick view of most of the grounds. The grounds themselves, as mentioned before, were spectacular gardens and the odd waterfall, and housed villages from each culture. As we passed each village we were encouraged to shout out ‘hello’ in each native language; Ta’lofa in Samoa, Kia’ora in Aotearoa, Bula in Fiji, and Aloha in Hawaii etc. After the peaceful canoe ride we made our way back through the grounds while exploring some villages on foot. We watched a Maori performance in a Marae, poi dancers and the haka, a taste of the familiar for me, while Martin snapped off photo’s of the intricate Maori carvings that decorated everything.
Entrance to the Maori Village
Carvings on the top of the marae
Maori performers outside the Marae
In the Fijian village a man talked to us about the making and uses of coconut oil, and we had our photo snapped with one of the Fijian performers. Martin asked that the man look like he’s ready to kill me – still a little put out for being made to accompany me.
Entrance to the Fijian Village
In the Samoan village we watched a hilarious Samoan man demonstrate how to open a coconut and grate the coconut, while he had a comrade demonstrate climbing a coconut tree.
A Samoan comedian
Samoan guy demonstrating climbing a coconut tree and debating whether to jump
Rapanui - Easter Island
Shortly after, everyone was ushered into an open dining area, where an orchid lei was placed over our heads, and we were seated ready for our yummy luau buffet, while singers and performers entertained us from the stage.
Probably the most enjoyable part of the evening was the show held in the Theatre. The show was called Ha: Breath of Life, and follows the journey of a child who grows up in Polynesia, learning new lessons about life, death, and love as he travels the different islands. Dancers, singers, performers, amazing special effects, fire dancing and walking, even Martin was enthralled. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any photo’s and we forgot to purchase a DVD.
After an amazing day we boarded our bus again and headed back to the ship.
The elephant in our room