KAPAA — A group of visiting Tahitians and Marquesans have had a full slate of activities while on island, and are set to leave Tuesday.
“It’s been busy,” Randy Wichman said Sunday during the final day of the Kauai Tahiti Fete at the Kapaa Beach Park. “After Tuesday, maybe I can get some rest.”
The Tahitian delegation, te Avamoa, arrived last Sunday with a contingent from the Marquesas Islands. Coupled with Haruru, and O Tahiti E, more than 70 members, including Vetea Avaaemai, mayor of Papeno‘o, Tahiti gave Kauai residents and visitors an ample sampling of cultural dance and practices, including a reaffirmation of a 16-year sister city relationship with Kauai and Papeno‘o, culminating with the Kauai Tahiti Fete.
Uncle Joe Kahauleilo, founder of the Kauai Tahiti Fete in 1971 at the Coconut Marketplace, was honored at the event with a proclamation and special message from Gov. David Ige. The Kauai Tahiti Fete committee, led by Carol Akau-Casil, Kahauleilo’s alaka‘i, was praised for its mission of continuing the cultural connections between Kauai and French Polynesia through dance, music, art, language and traditions.
Kauai offered its share of cultural exchange through performances from Urahutia led by Mi Nei Oliver-Martin, Hula Halau O Leilani led by Leilani Rivera Low, and the Bailes de Jose Philippine Dance Company with Jose Bulatao.