Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy, Laie, HI 96762
Coming to Hawaii, Colleen and the crew were thrilled to learn all about Polynesian culture and traditions. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a destination that every family should go to to soak up the island village life, and have hands-on learning experiences with people of the culture. The Samoan people were very welcoming and always had a smile on their faces, making for a very enjoyable visit. While there, Colleen learned how Samoans prepared their food, how to spear-throw with Tahitians, and how to make a fire with two sticks.
As we walked up to the Islands of Samoa attraction, we encountered two men dressed in traditional Samoan clothing, preparing food. While one man vigorously cracked open coconuts with a stone, the other made coconut milk with his bare hands. In their culture, food is a social event that brings everyone together to appreciate and share the gifts nature has provided for us. The men then cooked the food over the fire for a few hours until they could eat it.
Tahitian spear-throwing is an activity that requires agility, accuracy, and strength, as the goal is to throw the javelin as far as possible. The Tahitian men taught Colleen and the girls how to hit a coconut atop a tall pole that was 20 feet away — it’s not as easy as it looks!
The Samoan coconut tree climbing is one of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s most famous demonstrations. In their culture, the coconut tree is known as the “tree of life” because of its many uses from root to tip. The trees offer all the essential ingredients used in their meals, and is also used for household instruments such as floor mats, baskets, and tools. Though the traditional way of climbing these trees to harvest nuts and leaves isn’t as common, it has most recently became a competitive sport.
The islands of Polynesia are filled with fascinating culture and people. At the Polynesian Cultural Center, you are able to learn about seven different island nations, and out of those, Samoa, Aotearoa, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii are among the cultures you can explore first hand. The center offers a variety of activities for every family, including a canoe race, maori poi, a Circle Island Tour, and many others.
Some additional tips and fun facts:
- The doors are open to the public from noon to 6pm daily.
- Guided tour packages are available and include multiple attractions, souvenirs, food, and exclusive tours.
- The authentic food and snack bar offers amazing traditional food!