Hawaii's Polynesian Cultural Center Favored Tourist Attraction
I live within walking distance of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. Each day I hear the drums beating from the Polynesian villages, and in the evening I can hear the roar of the crowd in response to the night show in the big amphitheater.
It is an exciting, fun place to visit, even having gone there with family and other visitors several times. It is very beautiful with a lagoon and waterfalls, and there is always so much to see and do. It has become Hawaii's number one paid tourist attraction - and for good reason. You can see all of the Polynesian cultures in one place.
History of the Polynesian Cultural Center
Founded in 1963, the nonprofit Center was created specifically so that the students of the nearby Brigham Young University Hawaii could work their way through college by sharing their island heritage with visitors. These students come from an area that covers approximately 12 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. The center itself covers a 42-acre facility on the North Shore of Oahu and has villages to showcase the different cultures.
The islands of the Pacific are numerous and there are so many different cultures that it would take a life time to get to know about their traditions, history and foods. Because the Brigham Young University - Hawaii accepts students from these islands, it is a perfect way for them to earn their way through school, doing what they know best.
There are approximately thirty six distinct groups of Polynesian people.
The Polynesian Cultural Center showcases the people and island nations of Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand), Fiji, and the Marquesas. They also have a new Rapa Nui (Easter Island) exhibit featuring seven stone statues or hand-carved moai. The Polynesian Cultural Center is the only place on Oahu that can offer a glimpse into life on these other Polynesian islands.
Daily at the Polynesian Cultural Center they make an underground oven (imu) and roast a pig.
There is an Ali'i Luau Feast at which you can taste the roasted pork or other Polynesian delights. It is an all-you-can eat buffet at which you are entertained by local Hawaiian singers and dancers.
The luau takes place in the covered Hale Aloha, which comfortably seats about 700 guests on individual chairs at tables for eight. Every one has an excellent view of the entertainment.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Polynesian Cultural Center go here.
Hands-on Activities you can witness or be involved with in the villages include:
- Coconut Husking
- Fire Starting
- Spear Throwing
- Fire Walking
- Wood & Tiki Carving
- Fire Pit Cooking
- Tree Climbing
- Fire Knife Dancing
- Haka Dance
- Maori War Canoe
Besides visiting the villages, you can enjoy Hawaii's only canoe show, the colorful Rainbows of Paradise which is performed every afternoon aboard double-hulled canoes.
Hā: Breath of Life,
features a cast of over 100 islanders performing traditional
Polynesian dances and songs in a 2,800-seat Pacific Theater. There are even erupting volcanoes during the show.