Hawaiian Cultural Maui Tours
The Hawaiian Culture is still alive in the hands of dedicated Cultural Custodians who have assumed the responsibility to learn and secure the wisdom from our Kupuna, our revered elders, and to pass their Mana'o, wisdom, to the Kama Hawai'i, the next generation, the children of Hawai'i. Let us share some of our Mana'o with you and take home more than just memories of Sun, Sand & Surf.
Hoe Wa'a - Outrigger Canoe Paddling * Ko'ie'ie Loko I'a -Hawaiian Fishpond & Aquaculture * Hui O Wa'a Kaulua - Traditional Oceanic Voyaging & Celestial Navigation * Mala'ai Poi - Taro the Hawaiian Staple * Ahupua'a - Eco System of old Hawai'i * Hana No'eau - 'Hands-on' Traditional Arts & Crafts * Na Oli a Hula Kahiko - Chants & Dance of old Hawai'i * Mo'olelo - Stories & Legends of Hawai'i Nei
The Hawaiian Culture is passed on by our Kupuna (elders) who share their Mana'o (wisdom) with the children of Hawai’i. On our Cultural Custom Tour, we take you on a journey of the Hawaiian Islands as we share some of our Mana'o with you. Experience Hawaii fully with an in-depth understanding of the culture!
Some of our common cultural tour topics include Mo'olelo (Stories & Legends of Hawai’i), Na Oli a Hula Kahiko (Chants & Dances of old Hawai'i), Hui O Wa'a Kaulua (Traditional Oceanic Voyaging & Celestial Navigation), Hana No ' eau (Hands-on Traditional Arts & Crafts), the Ahupua'a (Ecosystem), Mala'ai Poi (Taro), Ko'ie'ie Loko I'a (Hawaiian Fishpond & Aquaculture) and Hoe Wa'a (Outrigger Canoe Paddling).
The Hawaiian culture is rich with history, old legends, chants and dances. Hawaiians were polytheists, meaning they believed in multiple gods. Some of the main gods include Kane, father of living creatures, Ku, god of war, Kanaloa, god of the underworld and Lono, god of agriculture and fertility. One of the most famous goddesses is Pele, the god of the volcanoes, wind, fire and lightning. Pele is said to take form as a beautiful young woman with long flowing hair or as an old woman with a white dog. The existence of so many gods results in many exciting mythological stories and local superstitions. One such story is of Māui, a demigod. While fishing with his brothers, Māui catches the ocean floor with his fishhook and tells his brothers to paddle as hard as they can, pulling up the chain of Hawaiian Islands.
The word Ahupua'a represents old Hawaii’s special system of land division. Hawaiians did not have a private property system. Instead, the King controlled all land and designated oversight to others based on their ranking. Each Mokupuni (island) was divided into several moku (subdivisions) that started at the mountains and continued to the sea. Ahupua'a were narrower divisions within these moku that also ran from the mountains to the sea. They were controlled by the local ali'i (chief). The zoning of each Ahupua'a allowed each community to have all the items they needed to subsist, including salt, fish, farming land, trees and koa wood. It also gave the maka'ainana (commoners) stable land to live on, although they were required to pay taxes to the Konohiki (land overseer). This method of communal living off shared resources led to a quality life with ample time for crafts and dance.
Taro, or “Kalo” in Hawaiian, is a Native Hawaiian food staple. The cultivation of the kalo plant goes back thousands of years. At one point, Hawaii had 300 varieties of kalo. It is so essential to Hawaiian culture, that it has its own place in Hawaiian folklore. Kalo is believed to have grown from the buried stillborn child of Wakea (god of the sky) and Papahānaumoku (Mother Earth). In Hawai'i, kalo is grown in a Lo' i (patch of land), using water irrigation. It takes anywhere from 9 to 12 months to mature for harvest. Once it does, it has big beautiful green heart shaped leaves. The kalo stem makes one of Hawaii’s most famous dishes, Poi; produced by a process of cooking, mashing and fermenting. Poi can be eaten plain, with sugar, or often with lomi salmon.
Our custom tour excursions also include trips to historic Ko'ie'ie Loko I'a (Hawaiian Fish Pond and Aquaculture) and Hoe Wa'a (outrigger canoe paddling). Visit the Ko'ie'ie fishpond with us in South Maui built over four hundred years ago. This fishpond is one example of Hawaiian ingenuity. In fabricated offshore enclosures, fishes were harvested for the community and traded. In 1990, planners conducted a survey and found 44 fishponds left on Maui, some identified only by the remnants of a rock wall. These fishponds are typically reached by outrigger Canoes, which arrived in Hawaii as early as 200 AD. While outrigger canoe paddling in Hawaii started out as a utilitarian means of transportation, it is now a source of heritage, fishing, and a popular sport. We highly encourage you to try it out on your visit!
Book the Cultural Tour with Akina today to enjoy Hawaii and develop a deep understanding of Hawaiian history! Our knowledgeable guides are ready for your questions. There’s no better way to spend your vacation than enjoying the beautiful island while learning about its rich culture.