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Waiola Church to host celebration of Mo‘i Wahine Keopuolani

By Staff | Feb 27, 2020

Na Wai ‘Eha (above), Francis Taua Jr. and Kaniala Masoe will perform at the Tamaaraa (Tahitian feast) on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at historic Waiola Church in Lahaina.

LAHAINA – In a celebration on Saturday, Feb. 29, 197-year-old Waiola Church will honor Keopuolani, whose final resting place is The Royal Tomb located in Waiola’s Waine’e Graveyard.

All are encouraged and invited to attend the event at the 535 Wainee St. church.

Events will commence at 8 a.m. with the kau ha’i – a chant lifting family genealogy as well as connections to her people and place – delivered by Nalani Kanaka’ole of the esteemed Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation.

Francis Taua Jr. will share Mo’olelo (story, myth, legend and history) at 9:30 a.m.

Also contributing will be Tanya Lee-Greig, archaeologist and principle investigator for Aina Archaeology, at 10 a.m. in the Waine’e Graveyard.

Francis Taua Jr. will speak and perform at the event. PHOTO BY JACK GRACE.

She has been volunteering her personal time and company resources to document and map the historic graveyard at Waiola Church.

Together with her staff, they will be completing a 3D laser scan of the Royal Tomb and monument to create a detailed digital model for archival and educational purposes.

At 11 a.m., educational and historical talks will be led by Dr. Ronald Williams on Queen Keopuolani’s encounters with Tahitians, who arrived and translated for the missionaries here in Lahaina.

Dr. Williams has been generous with his time and talent in providing critical Curriculum Resource Standards, “Ola Na Iwi,” located on the Waiola Church website.

The celebration will conclude with a Tamaaraa, a Tahitian feast in celebration of Lahaina’s Tahitian connections, with food, song and dance.

Gates for the feast open at 5:30 p.m. Taua, Kaniala Masoe and Na Wai ‘Eha are all scheduled to perform.

Ticket prices for the evening meal and entertainment are $30 per person.

This event is made possible through the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.

Visit Waiola Church’s website, Waiolachurch.org, and Facebook page for more information.