3 Activities to Promote Hawaiian Culture - 5min Read

Are you looking for fun and challenging cultural activities to do with some of your friends and ʻohana? We sure hope so as we've compiled a list of three activities you can do to promote Hawaiian culture while still having fun! 

Each activity has a few examples you can follow along with to make it easier, however you could also choose to make the activity your own. 


ACTIVITY 1: Practice Makahiki Games with ʻOhana

1. Kōnane

Kōnane is a game similar to checkers which can be played on a kōnane board with any pebbles, rocks, or glass beads with two discerning colors.

2. Ulumaika

Ulumaika is a game which is played with a circular stone that rolls well and two sticks, you take turns trying to roll the stone(s) in between the two sticks.

3. Hakamoa

To play hakamoa, you only need a ring in which to stand, you and your opponent clasp hands and hold a foot in your opposite hand. (i.e. left foot in right hand) When the match starts, you try to get your opponent out of the ring or to release their foot.


ACTIVITY 2: Use Traditional Hawaiian Methods of Cooking

1. Imu

Making an imu is an ancient Hawaiian technique used to cook food. An imu can be made by placing wood on top of stones bunched in a pit; when the wood is turnt to ash and the stones are hot, the stones are pushed into a level plane and chopped banana tree stalks are laid on top, then a pig wrapped in tea leaves or banana leaves is placed into the pit and covered.

Nowadays we use tarp and burlap bags, but people used to use kapa and lauhala mats. Then a layer of dirt is placed on the outside ring of the imu cover to seal in the heat. After around 6-8 hours, depending on the amount of pork; the imu should be ready to open and the pig will be ready to eat.


2. ʻAwa

Making ʻawa to drink is a much easier task than an imu; ʻawa is used for its health benefits, things like insomnia, kidney disorders, chills, latent childhood disease, headaches, and tiredness. ʻAwa is made by mashing the root into a power-like substance; then taking that powder and straining it through a fibrous plant bundle. Nowadays though, you can buy kava powder or ʻawa root paste instead and straining that through a cheese cloth in order to minimize the amount of actual root that falls through into the ʻawa drink.


ACTIVITY 3: Start a Hawaiian Plant Garden (Māla)

1. Maiʻa (Banana)

All parts of the maiʻa (banana) tree can be used, the fruit is commonly known, however the stalk and fronds can also be used in a traditional Hawaiian cooking method called an imu.


2. ʻUala (Sweet Potato)

ʻUala (Sweet Potato) is a tuber that is well-known for its sweet taste; it also has a variety of health benefits when prepared properly. It grows well in dry conditions, needing less than 30 inches of rain annually making it an easily cultivatable plant.


3. Kalo (Taro)

Kalo (Taro) is the breath and life of Hawaiʻi. Most only know of it as the plant used in poi; a Hawaiian dish prepared my mashing kalo with little amounts of water; however, Kalo is much more than that. The story of Kalo is quite long and holds great meaning to many people.


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