News Release

Connect with culture: Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park shares Hawaiian programs and stories

The face of a Hawaiian man looks out across a verdant steaming volcanic cliff
Wahinekapu, a sacred area within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

NPS Photo

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: May 5, 2023

Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018

HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaiʻi – Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is a cultural landscape and encourages everyone to seek a deeper understanding of Native Hawaiian culture and its importance during Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.  
Whether you are planning a park visit or a virtual visit, you are invited to explore new digital content and in-person programs in May.  
Be a virtual visitor for AANHPI month:  
The Language of the Land. What does sacred mean to you? This new storymap reveals the meaning behind cherished place names across the summit region of Kīlauea. For example, Wahinekapu, “sacred woman,” is where steam billows from the earth. The volcanic steam is considered sacred especially to wāhine (women) who engage in steam ritual.   
Cultural Resource Preservation. This new webpage offers a wealth of Hawaiian cultural stewardship, stories, and videos at your fingertips.  
ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Join the revitalization of the Hawaiian languge and learn common greetings and vowel pronunciation then try learning how to pronounce Hawaiian place names
ʻIke Hana Noʻeau (Experience the Skillful Work). Watch a new season of this park-produced video series that shares authentic Hawaiian cultural practices.  
Moʻolelo. Learn about 10 fascinating moʻolelo (stories). Some may be familar, others may be lesser-known tales like that of Punaʻaikoaʻe, a chief of Oʻahu whose kinolau (supernatural body form) is represented in the koaʻe keʻa (white-tailed tropicbirds) that soar above Kīlauea caldera. 
In-person AANHPI events this month include the following:  
Let’s Play Hū. Early Hawaiians devoted time to games, amusement and relaxation. Hū, or top-spinning, was an absorbing activity for children but making hū with a kukui nut was equally engaging. Join rangers and staff from Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association as they share their love and knowledge of traditional arts. Part of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana Noʻeau (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural programs, and co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association and the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free, but park entrance fees apply.  
When: Wednesday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to noon 
Where: ʻŌhiʻa Wing (across Crater Rim Drive from Kīlauea Visitor Center)   
The Battle of the Bitter Rain. It was a time of feathered capes, shark-toothed clubs, and long spears. A time when warring chiefs battled for control of the islands. One such fierce battle took place partially within what is today Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Join retired park ranger Jay Robinson as he transports us back to a time when control of the island of Hawai'i teetered on the brink at a place and time known as the Battle of the Bitter Rain. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park programs and sponsored by the Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free, but park entrance fees apply.  
When: Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m.   
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium    
Living History at Kahuku: Nani O Kahuku. Re-live a day on the Kamehameha Schoolsʻ historic Kahuku Ranch and join us for a one-woman living history play performed by Alya-Joy Kanehailua. The in-situ performance is based on a journal written by Hannah Piʻilani Jones, the hapa-haole (half Hawaiian, half Causasian) daughter of George Jones, who owned Kahuku Ranch from 1871 to 1887. FREE! Performances are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., and reservations are required. Email Wendy Vance, e-mail us to reserve your seat and for detailed directions.   
When: Saturday, May 27 at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. 
Where: Kamehameha Schools Kahuku Ranch property. Directions provided when you make reservations.  

Last updated: May 5, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718


808 985-6011

Contact Us