Event Details

Date & Time
04/27/2013 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Fee Information
$45.00 for Friends members - $65.00 for non-members - $25.00 for students K-12 & college with valid student ID
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Please join us for this educational program, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula. From Ab Kawainohoikala'i Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Hālau Hula Kalehuaki'eki'eika'iu understands them). There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, 'ie'ie, 'ilima, lehua, and halapepe. Plus, there are adornments - mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers-which include maile, 'ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, 'a'ali'i, pūkiawe, and 'ōlapa.

The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula - the hula platform that overlooks Halema'uma'u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele. Here we'll have a discussion about the native Hawaiian plants that are significant to hula. Next we'll drive to Kīlauea Overlook, with spectacular views of the caldera, to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants-and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tim Tunison. After lunch, we'll visit Tunison's property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem. We'll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home.

Ab Kawainohoikala'i Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his 'ohana (family) was originally from Hilo. He attended the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the University of Kansas-Lawrence to study Architecture. Trained as a kumu hula (hula teacher/master), Ab established Hālau Hula Kalehuaki'eki'eika'iu in Honolulu in 1991. He currently maintains his hālau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tim Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years. He was a Botanist at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired. Since then, Tim has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration through the Hawai'i Volcanoes Institute, Volcano Art Center, and Volcano Community Association.

Where to Meet
Participants provide their own transportation to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. From Highway 11, between mile markers 28 and 29, turn into Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (entrance fees apply). Meet at the Kīlauea Visitor Center, outside under the lanai by the horizontal relief map. We will carpool from there. Approximate travel from Hilo is 1 hour and from Kailua-Kona is 3 hours. To view maps, visit http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/maps.htm

This experience is rated easy. Walking, mostly slow-paced, totals about 1 mile over multiple stops. Be prepared for the 4,000' elevation as well as for variable weather conditions, including sunny, windy, chilly, and/or rainy.

  • Please bring:
  • drinking water
  • bag lunch
  • hat
  • rain gear
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • closed-toe sturdy walking shoes
  • personal items (e.g., backpack, camera, binoculars, walking stick, etc.)

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact the Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park at institute@fhvnp.org or (808) 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, April 15, 2013.

This event is presented by the Hawai'i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization. Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members. Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.00. Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register, visit www.fhvnp.org, email institute@fhvnp.org, or call (808) 985-7373. Your registration is confirmed when you pay by credit card over the phone or on our website, or when we receive a check payable to: Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP), P.O. Box 653, Volcano, HI 96785.

Cancellation Policy
The Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park will gladly refund your full amount up to 7 days prior to the day of the event. Between 2 to 6 days, 50% of the cost of the event will be refunded. If cancellation is within 48 hours of the start of the event, 0% will be refunded. All proceeds help support the efforts of the Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

link to pdf flier (304KB)

Kīlauea Visitor Center

9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Fee Information:
$45.00 for Friends members - $65.00 for non-members - $25.00 for students K-12 & college with valid student ID

Contact Name:
Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Contact Email:
e-mail us

Contact Phone Number:


Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(808) 985-6000
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