Sheraton Kauai ‘coming together’

POIPU — Tanner Stone, enjoying his first day as a sous chef at the Sheraton Kauai Resort after arriving from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Monday, was immersed in the Hawaiian culture.

Stone was part of the group of Sheraton Kauai staff and guests who participated in the awa ceremony dedicating the niu, or coconut, that will be transformed into a pahu.

The ceremony launched E Ho‘ohui Kakou, a celebration of Hawaii’s history and culture at the Poipu resort during the month of October.

“This is especially significant for us,” said Katie Brenner, the Sheraton Kauai hotel manager. “E Ho‘ohui Kakou translated means to bring everyone together, and this year we merged with the Marriott. It also celebrates our partnership with Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin and Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala.”

Starting Monday, the Sheraton Kauai hosts activities for its guests and kama‘aina honoring the host culture that makes Hawaii a special place.

Monday marked the start of a pahu that will take place at the Sheraton Kauai over the next several months.

“We will have everyone, including managers and department heads, working on this pahu,” said Krystie Ramos, the Sheraton Kauai activities coordinator and a member of Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinaala. “The ancient Hawaiians had no power tools, so we will do it their way. Our hula girls all made pahu, and we will work on the Sheraton’s pahu on Mondays and Thursdays until it is done.”

An awa ceremony led by Ka‘eo Nesmith dedicated the niu, or coconut, trunk that will eventually be transformed into the pahu, or Hawaiian drum, Nesmith commenting on how he smelled the awa planted near the RumFire restaurant when he arrived.

Activities taking place this week include pahu history and demonstrations, coconut frond weaving with Onio Punzal, ‘ukulele lessons, lei making, hula, a tilapia fishing contest, kukui nut craft, poi and pa‘i‘ai making, kahili making, an introduction to makahiki games, Polynesian stamp tatto, and ‘upena, or fish net throwing.

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