Kauai family lives the culture

HANAPEPE — Janet Kahalekomo did not have to say a word Monday.

Instead, much of her time was taken up by the group of people who gathered to talk story with kupuna at the Salt Pond salt beds as part of the weeklong Prince Kuhio celebration.

So she let her granddaughters Brandee, Chalise, and Katrina Sahut explain the Salt Pond-produced Hawaiian salt.

“This is not produced anywhere else in the world,” Brandee said. “They do collect sea salt in other parts of the world, but Salt Pond is unique because of the underground ocean tunnels, which feeds the salt pans.”

The unique way in which salt is farmed at Salt Pond is at least four generations old, involving Janet Kahalekomo, her children, her children’s children, and some of their children.

“We start at an early age,” Chalise said. “It’s usually after we’re out of diapers, and then we do it for the rest of our lives.”

Brandee said legend has it that a young Hawaiian girl once caught so many fish in the area, she started to cry to the gods because she didn’t know what to do with the catch. She cried so much, the salt in her tears was used to cure the catch, thus salvaging it.

“We have sons who are hunters,” Kahalekomo said. “We have sons who are fishermen. They all need the salt to care for their catches. There are people who talk about culture — we live the culture.”

The Kahalekomo ohana will be at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday and then again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday with their cultural demonstrations as the Prince Kuhio Week celebration wraps up.

– Today. A Royal Dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Plantation Gardens Restaurant, and an evening of entertainment at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Seaview Terrace with Na Hoku Hanohano nominee Leilani Rivera Low and her keiki hula halau starting at 6 p.m.

– Wednesday. Talk Story” about Kauai’s South Shore culture, flora and history at Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club. Flora and fauna tour at 9 a.m.

w Thursday. Makauwahi Reserve Tour, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. $10 per person.

– Friday. Opening protocol at the Grand Hyatt Kauai followed by the cultural and art practices with hands-on demonstrations from 2 to 7 p.m.

A Prince Kuhio Celebration Luau takes place at the Smith’s Tropical Paradise from 5 p.m. An evening of Hawaiian entertainment will be at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa at 6 p.m. Torch lighting ceremony; 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m.

– Saturday. 5th annual Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kupuna Sylvia Cole will be honored Admission is free.

Prince Kuhio Celebration Luau from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Koloa Landing, Wyndham Grand Resort in Poipu. Admission is $60 pre-sale, $65 at the door.

– Sunday Sunday with the opening ceremonies to include protocol with makana, or gifts, celebrating Prince Kuhio’s birthday starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Info: Makalii Thronas at 240-6452 for more information.

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