Family Day To Celebrate PCC’s Halau O Iosepa

Wednesday - June 11, 2008
By MidWeek Staff
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The Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center will celebrate the opening of a halau wa’a to house its hand-carved double-hulled canoe at the end of this month with a formal blessing June 25 and a Family Day event. Photo from the Polynesian Cultural Center.

The Polynesian Cultural Center will open a new halau wa’a to house its 57-foot Iosepa (a large, wooden, double-hulled canoe) at the end of June, hosting a Family Day in celebration.

The $2.65-million project began in November last year and the fully operational canoe was built in 2001. The canoe is all hand-carved in Laie, and will bring new attractions to the center such as knot-tying, navigation and voyage preparation.

A formal private blessing will be held June 25 for the halau wa’a.

“We are excited to share the Iosepa and the Polynesian voyaging story with the rest of the world,” said Von Orgill, the PCC president. “When it’s not out on sail, the Iosepa will be housed in the halau wa’a, where it will be shared, allowing guests to view and appreciate its function and beauty.”

There also will be displays, exhibits and a presentation about the Polynesian migration story to the Hawaiian Islands.

The canoe was built to be a sailing classroom for the BYU-Hawaii’s Hawaiian Studies program.

“Unlike most other contemporary canoes, which are built out of fiberglass with modern technology, the Iosepa is hand-carved out of dakua wood transported from Fiji,” said Orgill. “Iosepa’s spirit is very strong. It not only connects BYU-Hawaii with the PCC, but also unites the entire Hawaiian community and residents of Laie.”

Children ages 3 to 11 will be admitted free with purchase of an adult ticket. General admission starts at $43 for adults. For more information, visit or call 293-3333.


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