‘Moloka‘i Tita’ to rock the Marriott

This Saturday, the Kaua‘i Historical Society is honoring three local paniolo who are in the statewide Paniolo Hall of Fame at its annual pa‘ina, at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club in Kalapaki.

Starting at 5 p.m., this annual fund-raiser includes Hawaiian and country music by Melveen Leed, plus music by two local groups, hula, silent auction, a live auction of unique items, four-course dinner, country line dancing, and dance music until 10 p.m.

“Na Paniolo Nui o Kaua‘i,” or “The Great Cowboys of Kaua‘i,” is the theme of the event. They will be represented by Eddie Taniguchi Jr., Harold Aiu, and Joseph Manini.

Throughout their lives, they have done the hard work required in ranching: clearing land, building fences, making saddles and lariats, taking care of horses, cattle and themselves, roping, branding, and riding hard.

The trio and other Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau paniolo were honored in the Kaua‘i Cowboy Roundup, and also named to the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council Paniolo Hall of Fame.

They are also bringing memorabilia of ranch and rodeo life, and photos from the honorees, from the Fayé family of Waimea, and from Aletha Kaohi and the Kaua‘i Cowboy Roundup, will be shown throughout the evening.

Kaua‘i Historical Society Executive Director Mary Requilman, assistant Rhea Palma, and program coordinator and kumu hula Blaine Kia are planning a “full-on” paniolo experience.

In the courtyard, the Kauai Keiki and High School Rodeo Association will demonstrate roping and saddle-making, and Kaua‘i‘iki Olores will demonstrate lei-making.

Colleen and Mike Fayé are loaning ranch artifacts from Wranglers Steakhouse, and dinner tables will be decked out with bandanas, hats and plumeria lei.

“Queen Emma” and her escorts will arrive at the courtyard just before 6 p.m., and be greeted with Hawaiian ceremony by Halau Ka Waikahe Lani Malie.

The queen will lead everyone into the ballroom, and the evening’s program begins with hula kahiko.

Leed assured organizers that she’ll perform many of the country and Hawaiian songs that she’s famous for, plus songs from a newly released CD.

During the no-host cocktail hour, the Happy Hawaiians from the North Shore will perform their lively, old-time music.

While dinner is served, Lady Ipo Kahaunaele and Na Hoaloha will share their beautiful harmonizing on Hawaiian classics.

After Leed’s show, it will be time to get up for some country line dancing, encouraged by Sunday Murch. Other dance music continues until 10 p.m.

The silent auction at the pa‘ina is known for the antiques, collectibles, fine art, jewelry, and unusual accessories that are donated to support the Kaua‘i Historical Society.

Businesses, organizations and individuals have again generously given items that will interest everyone.

Bidding, starting at a fraction of the items’ value, continues from 5 p.m. through dinner.

The live auction will indeed be lively. The Weiser Companies has donated two giant clamshell sinks from the Coco Palms Resort, Ship Store Galleries has donated a signed giclee by marine historian/artist Raymond A. Massey depicting a Kaua‘i scene, and Savage Pearls has donated Tahitian black-pearl jewelry. There may be more surprises up for bid.

Make reservations or get tickets at the KHS office (phone 245-3373), or get tickets ($75 each, of which $35 is tax-deductible) at Hanalei Video & Music, Vicky’s Fabrics, Pictures Plus, Progressive Expressions, Wranglers Steakhouse, or West Kauai Technology & Visitors Center.

• Donna Stewart is a Kapa‘a resident, freelance writer, and Kaua‘i Historical Society member and supporter. She may be reached at 822-1152.


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