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Maui Nei Native Expeditions launches new cultural tour

By Staff | Jan 28, 2016

Maui Nei Native Expeditions performs hula kahiko at Moku‘ula in Lahaina. The educational program last week announced a new tour that immerses guests in Hawaiian cultural arts.

LAHAINA – An educational program of Friends of Moku’ula, Maui Nei Native Expeditions (MNNE) is dedicated to sharing Hawaiian culture and Maui’s rich history with visitors and residents. As part of that mission, MNNE has introduced a new tour called “Discover Old Hawai’i” that immerses guests in Hawaiian cultural arts.

During the three-and-a-half-hour, interactive program-tour, guests will learn Hawaiian cultural arts and skills while listening to stories of Lahaina’s sacred sites and a traditional way of life.

At each sacred site, a Maui Nei kumu (teacher/guide) will show guests how to make a cultural item using traditional methods of old Hawaii while explaining the background of his or her special skill and the history of its uses. Guests will also hear stories about significant places in Lahaina’s history as they move from site to site.

Some of the cultural arts and traditional skills that will be taught are ‘ohe hano ihu (bamboo nose flute making), ‘ohe kapala (bamboo print stamping) on cloth with natural dyes, kalo (taro) cultivation and poi pounding, hau (a shoreline shrub that thrives on brackish water) cordage making and braiding, la’au lapa’au (traditional discipline of medicinal plants and their uses), and hula kahiko (ancient dance) with mele (song) and oli (chant).

At the end of this cultural immersion program, guests will come away with highly valued knowledge about a sustainable way of living from old Hawaii and Lahaina’s sacred sites as well as handcrafted cultural amenities. A logo tote bag and bottle of water are also provided.

In addition to “Discover Old Hawai’i,” Maui Nei also offers the Lahaina History Tour, a guided walking adventure that is two hours in length.

Guests go off-the-beaten-path with a Hawaiian guide to learn about pre-contact Hawaii, sacred Maui chiefs and archaeological sites.

This tour explores the Hawaiian monarchy, early missionaries, rowdy whalers and plantation era in Lahaina, providing a connection between history and Hawaiian culture. There is a refreshment stop with tropical fruit tasting in the middle of the tour.

MNNE works closely with schools across Maui to educate students and teachers in the cultural heritage landscape of Lahaina and Native Hawaiian site of Moku’ula.

For more information about Maui Nei tours, visit www.MauiNei.com or e-mail mauinei@mokuula.com. Updates are available on Twitter @MauiNei and Facebook.com/Mokuula.

Friends of Moku’ula and Maui Nei Native Expeditions programs are sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Kukulu Ola: Living Hawaiian Culture Program.