Chant workshop held in preparation for Hokulea’s return

PUHI — In honor of Hokulea’s return to Oahu from its three-year voyage, the Queen Deborah Kapule Hawaiian Civic Club is hosting a workshop for the public to learn traditional Hawaiian protocol, chants and songs.

“People are traveling from Kauai to Oahu for the celebration because it’s such a big deal. But also, Hawaiians also have certain songs that are protocol, so this is preparation for that,” said D. Kaliko Santos, community outreach coordinator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The workshop is scheduled 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kawaikini Public Charter School adjacent to Kauai Community College in Puhi, in preparation for Hokulea’s return on June 17 at Kalia, Oahu (Magic Island).

To celebrate the voyaging canoe’s return to the islands, Kamehameha Schools organized training sessions on Oahu for those interested in offering their time and voice to learn correct pronunciations and songs.

“We had a couple of people who went to that who are coming back with two songs. We’re going to get together before the event to practice,” Santos said. “Everyone’s so excited to be present, whether in person or not, watching it on TV or something. It’s pride. We’re proud that they’re coming home.”

A big reason the workshop is being held at Kawaikini Public Charter School is because of the kumu, who are inviting their students.

“Because of our oral tradition, it’s getting further and further away because everything is about technology now. It’s a great opportunity for people to share it with their family,” Santos said. “We’re getting some feedback from parents who want to bring their kids, which is always a good point.”

Santos said that it doesn’t matter if you are fluent in Hawaiian or not, all that matters is that participants care to learn.

“If you’re a non-speaker, like me, you need to learn the pronunciations and stuff. It’s a great way to delve into the culture.”

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