ʻIke Hana Noʻeau "Experience the Skillful Work"

Ma ka hana ka ʻike (Knowledge can be acquired by doing)

A captivating new video series produced, created and hosted by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park rangers shares authentic Hawaiian cultural practices beyond the park to homes and classrooms anywhere. The short films are both “talk story” documentary and tutorial, and enable a friendly connection to traditional Hawaiian lifestyle practices. Viewers are introduced to three skilled local practitioners who make lei lāʻī (ti leaf lei), delve into the method of kuʻi kalo (making poi) and create an ipu heke ʻole (single gourd drum) in beautiful settings on the island of Hawaiʻi.

The video series is titled ʻIke Hana Noʻeau (Experience the Skillful Work),” and evolved from the in-person cultural demonstrations hosted by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park at Kīlauea Visitor Center. The in-person programs are on hold, but the park’s mission to share authentic Hawaiian culture is stronger than ever. The video host Park Ranger Sean Miday is kanaka maoli (native Hawaiian) and an ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) speaker, who rolls up his sleeves and jumps in to learn these important traditions along with the viewer.


Episode 1: Ku'i Kalo

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23 minutes, 33 seconds

Poi is the staple food of the Hawaiian people and kuʻi kalo is the process of pounding cooked taro corms to make poi. For many Native Hawaiians, this process is a way to connect with their older brother Hāloanakalaukapalili who in a cosmology story fed them and continues to feed them today. 


Episode 2: Lei Lāʻī

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16 minutes, 37 seconds

Lāʻī, also known as ti leaf, is used in many different aspects of Hawaiian life. It is used for ceremony, healing, protection, cooking, lei, and much more. Lei lāʻī is a hula adornment, but the leaves used also represent deities Laka (forest and hula) and Lono (harmony and agriculture), as well as kūpuna (ancestors).


Episode 3: Ipu Heke ʻOle

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18 minutes, 51 seconds

The rhythmic beat of the ipu heke ʻole, single gourd drum, is prominent in hula kahiko (traditional hula). Crafting an ipu heke ʻole is an intricate process that involves growing and shaping the gourds, hand pollinating the plants, and constructing trellises so they grow to produce a beautiful sound. The gourd helps hula dancers tell their story and share the sounds of the islands. The ipu heke ʻole is more than an instrument, it is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.


Short Version


Last updated: November 21, 2022

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