Experiencing the Makahiki

Tresen Bisarra of Kapahi said he had to come and experience the event.

The Bisarra children were part of the group awaiting the start of Ka Moku O Manokalanipo Paani Makahiki at Kapaa Beach Park, which was blanketed by cloud cover and cold wind.

“This is a good thing,” said Aunty Janet Kahalekomo, kupuna at the Eleele Elementary School. “We came from Eleele to support.”

The Makahiki festival interrupts the annual farming cycle in ancient Hawaii, celebrating the harvest and the god Lono, who is associated with rain and fertility.

Participants competed for awards in 10 activities.

They included Haka Moa, or chicken fighting, where individuals stand on one leg while trying to knock their opponents; Pa Uma, or standing wrist wrestling where individuals try to force their opponent off balance; Uma or hand wrestling, Ulu Maika, or bowling where a stone disc is rolled on the ground between stakes for accuracy; Moa pahee where a short wooden javelin is slid on the ground between stakes for accuracy; Oo Ihe, or spear hurling where banana stalks stood in place of otherwise human targets; Hukihuki, or a six-person a side tug of war; and Konane, or Hawaiian checkers where Kukui nut spinning tops provided a diversion from the concentration.

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