Experience the customs of Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti at the Polynesian Culture Center in Oahu. Hear village traditions from across Polynesia and participate in a wide array of activities that pay homage to this vibrant side of the world. Practice fishing and spear throwing, paddle an outrigger canoe and try your hand at preparing an authentic Samoan meal.
Upgrade your admission ticket to enjoy the evening performance of ‘Ha: Breath of Life,’ incorporating passed down tales from generation to generation. You’ll also see thrilling acts from flaming-knife dancers and firewalkers. To make the most out of your evening, upgrade to also include a luau dinner and hotel pickup and drop-off from your hotel.
Some of the attractions at The Polynesian Cultural Center include:
Five times each afternoon the Hawaiians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture. Learn not only some basic hula, but also learn of the deeper commitment hula students make to their art, the intricacies of the motions, and the heritage of the hula implements and instruments. Gain insights into the ancient kapu or taboo system that meant men and women ate in separate houses. Learn how taro is harvested, cooked, and turned into the staple food, poi. Of course, you are also welcome to sample some. Observe how women craft leaves and flowers into beautiful Hawaiian lei and other useful items; and then try your hand at ulu maika - Hawaiian bowling, or konane - Hawaiian checkers.
Six times each afternoon the Samoans present one of the Center's most popular cultural demonstrations. Learn how to make fire by literally rubbing two sticks together, how to easily crack open a coconut, the difference between coconut juice and "milk," and how the men do all the major cooking. The young men will also show their strength and agility by climbing 40-foot coconut trees. The demonstrations take place on the malae or grassy area surrounded by outstanding examples of Samoan fale (houses), which are among the most unique in all of tropical Polynesia.
Aotearoa (New Zealand Village):
Five times each afternoon the Maori put on a demonstration that explains the symbolic significance of their beautiful meeting house, unique carvings, facial tattoos, the ancient origins and meanings of sticking out their tongues and twirling poi balls, and other aspects of one of Polynesia's most unusual group of people. You won't want to miss the stirring haka dance; kids will enjoy learning to play tititorea, a Maori stick game designed to develop hand-eye coordination, and kids of all ages seem to enjoy the ta moko area where they can get a temporary tattoo.
Five times each afternoon the Fijians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture. Learn the significance of the lali or log drum, how important the coconut is in cooking, and other aspects of Polynesian island life. Review the wide array of historical weapons and implements involved in waging war upon neighboring islands and villages; that the cowry shells on the ridge mark a house as belonging to a chief, and that only the chief could enter that house through his door. Everyone will also enjoy making Fijian music with derua, a bamboo percussion instrument; or try a game of cibi (pronounced "thim-bee").
Three times each afternoon the Tahitians present in-depth demonstrations on their ancient culture. Learn both the women's and men's movements in their exciting dances, or just try to stop your toes from tapping to the beat of the wooden to'ere drums. Learn why the Tahitians make both fragrant flower and beautiful shell lei, sample Tahitian coconut bread, tour the garden, even let your kids try some fishing, and more.
Five times each afternoon the Tongans present their very popular Tongan ta nafa or drumming presentation that actually starts by learning the simple yet graceful motions of a mauluulu sitting dance. For example, you'll learn the difference between clapping with a pasi or a fu sound. You can also try your hand at Tongan lafo, a type of shuffleboard game, or even your accuracy with tolo spear throwing.
Five times each afternoon the Marquesan's present fascinating insights into their ancient culture. The Marquesas will enchant you with their ancient style of dancing: You can definitely see the sounds and motions of nature in their choreography, and you won't want to miss the pig hunt dance. Temporary tattoos are one of the most popular things to acquire there; and along with demonstrations of weaving and other crafts, the Marquesan's also share samples of breadfruit in season. Discover what it tastes like.
Ha: Breath of Life:
An ancient, yet universal tale about a boy born in a distant paradise. Enjoy the spectacle of over 100 performers, drums, dance, special effects, a fire spewing volcano and world renowned fire knife performance.
Rainbows of Paradise:
Rainbows of Paradise is performed daily from 2:30-3:00pm in two locations: the lagoon between the Islands of Samoa and the Hawaii Mission Settlement; and on the wide section of lagoon between the Islands of Fiji, Tahiti and Hawaii. (Because the two showings occur simultaneously, the order of appearance may be different than described). Rainbows starts with a young Polynesian woman in an outrigger canoe throwing flowers into the lagoon, a tradition reminiscent of days gone by when great steamships transported visitors to these magical islands. It was said in those days that each blossom became a memory of visits to Hawaii; and if the blossoms returned to shore, then so would the visitors.