20TH ANNUAL EAST MAUI TARO FESTIVAL 2012
by Guri Bigham
Music by Pekelo Cosma and Paula Fuga
Supported by UHMC Hawaiian Studies
Filmed in East Maui
Through my studies of Hawaiʻi, I have come to find a rich culture with a strong history and an ever so humble people. Last month I had the opportunity to participate in the East Maui Taro Festival with the Hawaiian Studies program at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. Being emerged within the true foundation of the culture I witnessed how thriving Hawaiian language and traditional practices are today. While keeping in mind the reality of the struggles that are faced, the rights that need to be addressed and the changes that need to happen in Hawaiʻi, it is important to embrace the positive aspects that exist today and recognize how far they have come. Embrace the fact that you can hear Hawaiian language amongst families, study Hawaiian culture in college and participate in cultural events. As a filmmaker I hope to be apart of the revitalization of Hawaiian culture and language in giving the Hawaiian people a voice through the powerful tool of media. This short film celebrates Hawaiian Culture and the traditions of taro in the Loʻi Kalo at Kipahulu ʻOhana, the hula performances at the festival, poi pounding with Kumu Kaleikoa Kaeo, Kapa making Kumu Nāone and the sharing of ʻAwa. In embracing today and remembering yesterday, Hawaiʻi will not only endure but it will thrive as the culture of tomorrow.