A Polynesian experience and more

Sadaya Jaret of Kilauea was thrilled to learn how to weave a roof yesterday.

“I’m always looking for new things to do, and this is pretty unique,” Jaret said. “Who knows? It might be an answer to the high cost of housing.”

The weaving station was part of the Tahiti Village, one of four facets to the Polynesian Experience at the 8th Annual Kaua‘i Polynesian Festival which opened Friday at the North Vidinha soccer fields.

One of the volunteers for the Kamanawa Foundation, host of the four-day event, said the Polynesian Experience features hands-on projects and dance from Tahiti, Samoa, Aotearoa and Hawai‘i.

Iona Teriipaia, who was one of several Tahitians heading up their village, said, “This is how we used to make roofs before everything became simple.”

Gates to the polynesian extravaganza open at 11:30 a.m. today and Sunday and features Tahitian, Maori, Samoan and Hawaiian entertainment as well as crafts, many of which can be found only during this event because the vendors travel in from Tahiti and other areas of the Pacific.

The highlight of the festival is the solo and group dance competitions, and food booths offer a variety of local foods and beverages.

Rahira Makekau was working in the New Zealand village, teaching the Matthew Brendergast family the tititorea game.

“You can do all sorts of things with this,” Makekau, a Maori, said. “You can play with music and song, and it teaches the young people several values such as patience and persistence.”

As she spoke, Aiden Brendergast, one of the two children from Bellingham, Wash., took the words right out of Makekau’s mouth.

“Let’s do it, again,” the youngster said as Makekau noted that persistence factor.

In the Samoan village, guests could learn dancing and how to make coconut oil while in the Hawaiian village, dancers and guests worked on lei they could take with them.

Entrance fee is $25 for three days, or $10 per day. Children under 5 are free.

For more information, call Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza at 335-6466, or visit the KPF Web site at www.kauaipolynesianfestival.org

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