On June 17, more than 135 years after King David Kalākaua returned to Hawaiʻi after circumnavigating the world, faculty, staff and friends from Kapiʻolani Community College repeated the spirit of welcome and homecoming for the Hōkūleʻa and its escort canoe the Hikianalia upon their return from their worldwide voyage by lighting torches on the summit of Diamond Head, or Lēʻahi.
Meeting at 4:30 in the morning, greeters put on their kīhei and tī-leaf lei before they ascended the summit of Lēʻahi. The early morning was still and dark, but the members managed the trail, respectful of the Hawaiian flag and a pahu (drum) they carried. When they reached the summit, they were greeted by the sunrise and the break of dawn.
As the flotilla of vessels appeared, members chanted in unison with passion and vigor. Fire from the torches had already burned themselves out, but sounds from the pahu drum proved that one cannot change the sound of an echo. Chanting of the oli provided immutable resonance and repeated itself from energy of its own. Read more >>
KCC faculty collaborated with the Division of State Parks and its staff through a Special Use Permit that clarified all safety and event protocols to insure this unique and historic celebration to honor the return of Hōkūle‘a was safe, successful and authentic.