Kauai Powwow kicks off this weekend

Native American drumming, dancing, food and art.

It’s all on tap this weekend at the 17th annual Kauai Powwow at Kapaa Beach Park.

“It’s a chance to learn about other cultures,” said Kaplan Bunce, president of the Kauai Powwow Council. “An opportunity to socialize, share culture with one another and continue our traditions.”

This year’s theme is “Dance For Life.”

To kick off the festivities, 460 children of Kauai and Niihau will take part in an outreach school program from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Lydgate Beach Park Pavilion. The program teaches children about dance, songs and regalia.

“This is my favorite part of the powwow,” Bunce said. “It isn’t open to the public but really gets the kids going.”

Members of the nonprofit Powwow Council, in addition to speakers from the Mainland, will teach the children about culture, traditional values and honoring elders.

“We hope many of the kids will listen and take in what we teach them,” Bunce said. “We are trying to reinforce values that the students are already learning at home.”

The public portion of the free event kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at Kapaa Beach Park with food, vendors and a paddle where the Native Americans ask the Native Polynesians for permission to use their land.

“No matter where we are at, unless we are on our own land, we honor the people of that land first,” Bunce said.

The Grand Entry, an event that honors those who have served in the military and elders who are no longer here, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Powwow festivities run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There will be an indigenous drum gathering from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will conclude with a drum circle, and those who are interested in participating are encouraged to bring their own drum.

There will be drumming, dancing, storytelling, traditional foods, silent auction, Native American and Hawaiian arts and crafts, and a keiki booth with games and activities.

There will be vendors with Native American jewelry, Kauai-made products, a nearly 100 percent organic kitchen with fried bread, Indian tacos and salads.

Donations will be accepted at the door.

“The event is going to be colorful, lots of fun and very beautiful,” Bunce said.

Info: (808) 647-4285 or www.kauaipowwow.com.

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