Updated: September 28, 2022
Fairmont Kea Lani, in partnership with the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society, will host Gathering of the Voyagers, a two-day celebration of Polynesian culture honoring Lea, goddess of canoe building.
Featuring traditional ceremonies, artisan and practitioner demonstrations, mākeke and live entertainment, this community festival will take place Sept. 9-10, 2022, at Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, a location historically significant to Polynesia’s rich seafaring culture.
“It is an honor to partner with the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society for the inaugural Gathering of the Voyagers” said Michael Pye, Regional Vice President, Hawai‘i and General Manager, Fairmont Kea Lani. “We are privileged to host this extraordinary group of voyagers, captains, paddlers and practitioners here at Fairmont Kea Lani and look forward to a commemorative weekend celebrating Polynesian culture.”
Gathering of the Voyagers will commence with a Hi‘uwai and E Ala Ē Ceremony on Friday morning followed by traditional protocol to welcome the arrival of the voyagers. The festivities continue with presentations on:
- The Story of Lea by artist Phil Sabado.
- The Importance of Indigenous Plants by Chris Ikaika Nakahashi.
- A powerful talk story session led by Aunofo Havea, Fealofani Bruun and Kala Baybayan-Tanaka, revered female captains and navigators of the pacific.
- A special screening of “Family of the Wa‘a” will be shown.
- Kani ka pila featuring Kila Kila Band, Ua Aloha Maji & Ron Kuala‘au on Fairmont Kea Lani’s oceanfront lawn.
Festivities continue on Saturday with paddling, Polynesian dance, and presentations on Polynesian navigation. Events include the following:
- Registered paddlers will have an opportunity to embark on a ceremonial voyage around Molokini, departing from Keoneopolo Beach fronting Fairmont Kea Lani.
- Later that morning, the Tahitian dance competition, Heiva Maui 2022, will commence in the Fairmont Kea Lani Ballroom (tickets required).
- As the sun begins to set, the evening will culminate with a powerful presentation on Polynesian navigation, led by the female captains and navigators of the Pacific.
“We are voyagers,” shared Anela Gutierrez, Executive Director of Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society. “From our ancient origins across the vast Pacific ocean we arrived by double-hulled canoes and made these islands our home. Carrying with us the plants and animals to sustain us, the values to carry us forward, and our families to continue our traditions into the future. Gathering of the Voyagers is a celebration of our great Pacific ‘ohana and the cultures and values which guide us.”
Presentations, demonstrations and exhibits at Gathering of the Voyagers are free and open to the public, with the exception of Heiva Maui, which requires advance purchase tickets. Participation in the voyage around Molokini requires advance registration, but observation from Keoneopolo Beach is open to all. Throughout the weekend, a local mākeke will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where a world of handmade products and unique gifts will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.gatheringofthevoyagers.com.