Earth Day coincided with the National Tropical Botanical Gardens’ monthly ‘Ohana Day Event, a free event held on the third Sunday of each month.
Kumu Mauli Cook and dancers of hula halau Papa Laua‘e O Makana made the trip from Kaua‘i’s North Shore to offer a variety of mele, legends and hula to celebrate the free monthly event at the NTBG Southshore Visitor Center located across from the popular Spouting Horn lookout in Po‘ipu.
Dancers opened with a number of kahiko performances demonstrating the use of the kala‘au, or sticks, uli uli, or feathered gourds, and a graceful but powerful kahiko about Queen Emma who had a residence on Kaua‘i despite being the ruler from O‘ahu.
Cook’s powerful narrative and story-telling abilities were complemented by the halau’s kahiko dancers working through the presentations which were punctuated by swirling monkeypod leaves stirred up by gusty tradewinds at the visitor center.
‘Ohana tours are every Sunday. Tours of the McBryde Garden or the Allerton Garden are free to Hawai‘i residents with valid identification on a space-available basis. The McBryde Garden tour is self-guided and no reservations are needed. Visit www.ntbg.org or call 742-2433 for information.