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2011 We Are Samoa Festival

Date: May 11-14, 2011

Event: The We Are Samoa Festival at Polynesian Cultural Center, featuring the 19th Annual World Fireknife Championship and High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival, will take place from May 11-14.

The High School Samoan Arts Festival will be May 14, 2011 from 9am-2pm in the Pacific Theatre.

At the 19th Annual World Fireknife Championship, dancers of all ages showcase their mastery of Samoan fireknives in which acrobatic moves and death-defying tricks combine with ancient Samoan culture. Held in conjunction with the World Fireknife Championship, the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival is an event in which Hawaii high school students demonstrate their own cultural knowledge of Samoan traditions with exhibitions in basket weaving, coconut husking and fire making, and more.


2010 We Are Samoa Festival Video


Highlight video of the 2010 festival by PCC


2009 We Are Samoa Festival Video


2009 Festival Pictures













2009 Festival Participants

Participating High Schools
Kapolei High School
* Taupou – Felicia Faumuina
* Faaluma – Justin Himalea

Leilehua High School
* Manaia – Deriki Timotea

Kahuku High School
* Taupou – Candace Tufaga

Waianae High School
* Taupou – Fenunuivao Tauai
* Faaluma – Junior Patea

Radford High School
    * Taupou – Mamaita Fiaseu
    * Faaluma – Mosaiah Manuma

Oratory Participants
* Felicia Faumuina, Kapolei
* Deon Leatimua, Radford
* Junior Patea, Waianae

Cultural Games Results

Banana Peeling
Girls – 1. Radford, 2. Leilehua, 3. Kapolei
Boys – 1. Kapolei, 2. Leilehua, 3. Waianae

Basket Weaving
Girls –  1. Radford, 2. Leilehua
Boys – 1. Leilehua, 2. Radford, 3. Kapolei

Coconut Husking
Girls – 1. Leilehua, 2. Radford, 3. Kapolei
Boys – 1. Leilehua, 2. Kahuku, 3. Radford

Fire Making
1. Kapolei


Students Come Together to Celebrate the Proud Culture of Samoa

La‘ie, Hawai‘i – May 16, 2009 – Five Oahu schools participated in the 17th Annual Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival held today at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Students display the many cultural arts, games, songs and dances of the people of Samoa. This event is not a judged, but serves as an exhibition, allowing each school to participate without the added pressure of competition.

More than 300 students participated in this year’s festival representing:

  • Kahuku High School
  • Kapolei High School
  • Radford High School
  • Leilehua High School
  • Wai‘anae High School

The Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival kicked off with the lauga o le feiloaiga (oratory presentation). Lauga or “language of the chiefs,” is a combination of poetry and proverbs considered to be an extremely difficult art to master. Representatives from each school dressed in traditional Samoan chiefly costume to give their presentations.

Following the oratory, schools showed off their teamwork, going head to head in a variety of games based on daily Samoan life skills such as banana peeling, coconut husking, fire making and basket weaving.

The day culminated with a series of cultural dances such as the sasa (sitting dance) and mauluulu (girls dance). The highlight of each performance was the taupou or princess dance. Although the event focus is on traditional Samoan practices, students added their own modern flair.

“The High School Cultural Arts Festival provides a positive outlet for students to get a hands-on learning experience about the Samoan Culture,” said Chief Steve Laulu of PCC’s Samoan Village. “Being involved in the schools’ Samoan club gives students an incentive to stay in school and the experience of performing in front of a large audience at the world famous Polynesian Cultural Center.

All participating high school received up to $1,300 in cash as part of its participation in the annual festival. In addition, baskets were placed onstage during each performance and audience members were encouraged to donate to their favorite school. In all, the schools received more than $8,000 from festival sponsors and audience donations to help fund their club activities.

The Samoa Festival High School Cultural Arts Festival also included a special performance by the United Samoan Organization (USO), one of the sponsors of the event.


2009 May Day


2008 We Are Samoa Festival Video


2008 Festival Participants

Participating High Schools
Kahuku High School – Taupou – Krystal Apelu
Kapolei High School- Taupou – Adrianne Gaea
Radford High School – Taupou – Brianna Salanoa
Leilehua High School – Taupou – Tinei Tuitoelau
Waianae High School – Taupou – Laurissa Asuega

Oratory Participants
Michellae Timata, Kahuku
Felicia Faumuina, Kapolei
Thorne Lavata‘i, Radford
Alataua Tamafuta, Leilehua
Fitimaleafa Nansen, Waianae

Cultural Games Results
Banana Peeling
Girls – 1. Leilehua, 2. Kapolei, 3. Waianae
Boys – 1. Leilehua, 2. Kapolei, 3. Waianae

Basket Weaving
Girls – 1. Leilehua, 2. Kahuku, 3. Radford
Boys – 1. Radford

Coconut Husking
Girls – 1. Waianae, 2. Kahuku, 3. Kapolei
Boys – 1. Leilehua, 2. Radford, 3. Kapolei

Fire Making
1. Kahuku


Radford High School Steals the Spotlight at the Sold Out Festival

La’ie, HI – May 17, 2008 – For the past 16 years, high schools across the state make the trek to the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Pacific Theater to participate in its annual Samoa Festival. This year, a sold out crowd of 2,775 were treated to a day of cultural arts, games, songs and dances of the “happy people” of Samoa. Unlike previous years, the Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival was not judged, but served as an exhibition allowing each school to participate without the added pressure of competition.

With more than 400 students participating, this year’s performing schools included:

  • Kahuku High School
  • Kapolei High School
  • Radford High School
  • Leilehua High School
  • Waianae High School

The Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival kicked off with the lauga o le feiloaiga (oratory presentation). Representatives from each school dressed in traditional Samoan costume and presented speeches in the Samoan chiefly language.

Following the oratory, schools showed off their teamwork and went head to head in a variety of fun Samoan games based on daily life skills, including banana peeling, coconut husking, fire making and basket weaving.

The day culminated in a series of cultural performances by each school that showcased different dancers including the sasa (sitting dance) and mauluulu (girls dance). The highlight of each performance was the taupou or princess dance. While the event focused on Samoan traditions, each school added its own modern flair. Each high school had exceptional presentations, but it was Radford High School’s innovative choreography, music and high-energy production that proved to be the crowd favorite.

“The High School Cultural Arts Festival provides a positive outlet for these students and also help educate them about the Samoan Culture,” said Pulefano Galea‘i, founder of the event. “Their involvement in their schools’ Samoan club keeps them inspired to stay in school and be able to perform at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s festival.”

Each participating high school received $1,300 in cash as part of its participation in the annual festival.  PCC board member Kalo Soukup generously donated the cash prizes.  In addition, baskets were placed onstage during each performance and audience members were encouraged to donate to their favorite school. In all, the schools received more than $10,000 from festival sponsors and audience donations to help fund their club activities.

The Samoa Festival High School Cultural Arts Festival also included a special performance by Kanana Fou Congregational Christian Church American Samoa of Waipahu, Hawai‘i and Chaminade University.


2007 Slideshow


2007 We Are Samo Festival Video


RED RAIDERS REPEAT AS OVERALL WINNERS AT POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER’S SAMOAN CULTURAL ARTS FESTIVAL

Nearly 3,000 Attendees Filled Pacific Theater with Samoan Pride and Excitement

La’ie  – High school students from throughout Oahu gathered today at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) to show off their knowledge and skills of Samoa’s cultural traditions at the 2007 Samoan Cultural Arts Festival, but it was Kahuku High School that proved they know it best this year when they returned to capture the overall title again. Second place went to Radford High School and Waipahu High School took third.

More than 600 students took part representing nine high schools, including teams comprised of students from Farrington and Moanalua, as well as Leilehua and Mililani. Other schools included Kahuku, Kapolei, Moanalua, Radford and Waipahu.

The competition also featured a special presentation and performance by Tui Pule and the United Samoa Organization of Hawaii (USOH) featuring the 2006 Miss Lelalelei O Samoa and candidates for the 2007 pageant to be held in July. USOH returned again this year as the sponsor for the Taupo, or princess dance category, with a gift of $800. Along with the World Fireknife Dance Championships, the Samoan Cultural Arts Festival is a premier event of the Samoa Festival, which concludes tonight.

It was a packed house in the PCC’s Pacific Theater with the capacity audience of 2,775 cheering wildly throughout the competition. “This is the first time we’ve had so many schools join us for this event,” said Delsa Moe, emcee and director of cultural presentations for the PCC. “It’s so exciting to see the kids at the schools gather together to share their pride in the Samoan culture and celebrate its traditions through the various events and activities.”

The high school students worked together as teams in exciting cultural competitions that tested their expertise at traditional Samoan skills like coconut husking, basket weaving, and banana peeling. They also demonstrated their Samoan oratorical talents, musicianship, and mastery of traditional dances. Kahuku High School was judged the overall winner based on its cumulative performance in all the competitions.

Sponsors for the Samoa Arts Festival included Electric Pencil, Hawaiian Airlines, United Samoan Organization of Hawaii and Turtle Bay Resort. The high school awards included cash prizes and trophies for the various tasks and dances.


2006 Festival Participants

OVERALL WINNERS
(Based on Total Number of Points Earned):
1. Kahuku High School
2. Farrington High School
3. Moanalua High School

CULTURAL GAMES
Basket Weaving
Men: No finishers
Women: – 1. Kahuku, 2. Aiea, 3. Kapolei

Green banana Peeling
Men: – 1. Kahuku, 2. Kapolei, 3. Farrington
Women: – 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku, 3. Kapolei

Coconut Husking
Men: – 1. Aiea, 2. Kapolei, 3. Farrington
Women: – 1. Kapolei, 2. Aiea, 3. Waipahu

Fire Making
Men: – 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku

Lauga  (Oratory)
1. Merina Siuta, Farrington
2. Jacob Levale, Kahuku
3. Ana Mariko, Waipahu

DANCE
Fa’aluma (Comedian): – 1. Moanalua
Costumes – 1. Farrington
Musicians  – 1. Aiea, 2. Kahuku, 3. Moanalua
Mauluulu (Girls Dance): – 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Waipahu
Sasa (Sitting Dance): – 1. Kahuku, 2. Waipahu, 3. Moanalua
Taupou (Princess Dance): – 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Moanalua


Packed House Cheers on Seven Competing Schools from Oahu

La‘ie, HI – High school and college students from throughout Oahu gathered Saturday at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) to show off their knowledge and skills of Samoa¹s cultural traditions at the 2006 Samoa Arts Festival.

More than 500 students took part representing seven high schools, including Aiea, Farrington, Kahuku, Kapolei, Moanalua, Nanakuli and Waipahu. This year welcomed first-time competitors from Aiea, Kapolei and Nanakuli High Schools, making this year¹s competition bigger and better than ever.

The competition also included two special exhibition performances by United Samoa Organization (USO) and the winners from the 2005-2006 Samoan Idol.

Along with the World Fireknife Dance Competition, the Samoan Arts Festival is a premier event of the Samoa Festival, which concludes tonight.

It was a packed house in the PCC¹s Pacific Theater with the audience cheering wildly throughout the competition. “Each year the students get even better at the cultural games,” said Ellen Gay Dela Rosa, senior manager for Hawaii sales and promotions at the PCC. “They showed great creativity in their costumes, dances, music and speeches, and were enjoyable and entertaining to watch.”

The high school students worked together as teams in exciting cultural competitions that tested their expertise at traditional Samoan skills like coconut husking, basket weaving, and banana peeling. They also demonstrated their Samoan oratorical talents, musicianship, and mastery of traditional dances. Kahuku High School was judged the overall winner based on its cumulative performance in all the competitions.

One of the festival¹s highlights was an exhibition performance by the United Samoan Organization of Hawaii. Led by Tui Pule, a judge for the Samoan Arts Festival, the group showcased its dance skills and love of the Samoan culture. It also sponsored the first place prize of $300 for the Taupo (princess dance).

Other sponsors for the Samoa Arts Festival included Coca-Cola, Electric Pencil, Hawaiian Airlines, United Samoan Organization of Hawaii (USO) and Turtle Bay Resort.

The high school awards included cash prizes and trophies for the various tasks and dances.


2006 We Are Samoa Festival

Another showcase event of the week is the High School Samoan Cultural High School Arts Festival starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 20.  Polynesian students from Hawai‘i high schools and colleges will demonstrate their Samoan cultural knowledge and skills in friendly competitions like basket weaving, coconut husking, banana peeling, fire making, singing, dancing, and oratory talents, all with the beautiful backdrop of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Pacific Theater.

“The Samoan Cultural High School Arts Festival is a wonderful opportunity for young people to perpetuate the beautiful culture and heritage of Samoa,” said Dela Rosa. “It’s exciting to see the students get so involved in sharing their culture.”

Kama‘aina admission to the events in the Hale Ohana is $8.00 for everyone, with special upgrades available for those wishing to stay and enjoy the Ha: Breath of Life night show. Visitors can purchase tickets starting at just $40. For those interested in getting up close to see the winner crowned, you must purchase a ticket to the PCC’s Horizon night show as the finals are held during the intermission. Admission to the show is $40.00 for adults and $30.00 for children. Annual Pass holders get in free with a reservation, which are highly recommended for everyone interested in attending because the event sells out quickly.

For more information or to make reservations call the Polynesian Cultural Center ticket office at (800) 367-7060 or visit the PCC web site at http://www.Polynesia.com. In Hawai‘i, call (808) 293-3333.


2005 Festival Participants

OVERALL WINNERS
(Based on Total Number of Points Earned)
1. Kahuku High School
2. Farrington High School
3. Waipahu High School
4. Moanalua High School

CULTURAL GAMES
Basket Weaving
Men: – 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku
Women: – No finishers.

Banana Peeling
Men: – 1. Waipahu, 2. Kahuku, 3. Farrington
Women: – 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Waipahu

Coconut Husking
Men: – 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku, 3. Waipahu
Women: – 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku, 3. Moanalua

Fire Making
Men: – 1. Kahuku, 2. Waipahu, 3. Farrington

LAUGA (SPEECH)
1. Ropeta Gafa, Farrington High School
2. Ana Mariko, Waipahu High School
3. Nathan Saviinaea, Kahuku High School

DANCE
Faaluma (Comedian): 1. Kahuku
Mauluulu (Girls Dance): – 1. Farrington, 2. Waipahu, 3. Kahuku
Sasa (Sit Down Dance): – 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Waipahu
Taupo (Princess Dance): – 1. Kahuku, 2. Waipahu, 3. Farrington


SAMOAN CULTURE HIGHLIGHTS ANNUAL FESTIVAL AT THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

May 15, 2005 – Laie, HI – High school and college students from throughout Oahu gathered Saturday at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) to show off their knowledge and skills of Samoa’s cultural traditions at the 2005 Samoa Arts Festival.

More than 400 students took part representing four high schools, including Farrington, Kahuku, Moanalua, and Waipahu, as well as Brigham Young University-Hawaii and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This was Moanalua’s first year participating in the competition. Along with the World Fireknife Dance Competition, the Samoan Arts Festival is a premier event of the Samoa Festival, which concludes tonight.

It was a packed house in the PCC’s Pacific Theater with the audience cheering wildly throughout the competition. “The kids really worked hard this year,” said Ellen Gay Dela Rosa, senior manager for Hawaii sales and promotions at the PCC. “They were organized and showed great creativity in their costumes, dances, music and speeches.”

The high school students worked together as teams in exciting cultural competitions that tested their expertise at traditional Samoan skills like coconut husking, basket weaving, and banana peeling. They also demonstrated their Samoan oratorical talents, musicianship, and mastery of traditional dances. Kahuku High School was judged the overall winner based on its cumulative performance in all the competitions.

One of the festival’s highlights was an exhibition performance by the United Samoan Organization of Hawaii. Led by Tui Pule, a judge for the Samoan Arts Festival, the group showcased its dance skills and love of the Samoan culture. It also sponsored the first place prize of $300 for the Taupo (princess dance).

Other sponsors for the Samoa Arts Festival included Coca-Cola, Cirque du Soleil, Henry S. Mataalii and Company, Electric Pencil, Hawaiian Airlines, Galumalemana Lester W.B. Moore and Turtle Bay Resort.

Both the universities and high schools participated in the dance competition. Each university received a $1,000 honorarium. The high school awards included cash prizes and trophies for the various tasks and dances.


2004 Festival Participants

Overall Winners
1st Farrington High School
2nd Kahuku High School
3rd Waipahu High School

Cultural Games
Basket Weaving
Mens – 1.Farrington
Womens – 1. Kahuku

Banana Peeling
Mens – 1. Waipahu, 2. Kahuku, 3. Farrington
Womens – 1. Waipahu, 2. Farrington, 3. Kahuku

Coconut Husking
Mens – 1. Kahuku, 2. Waipahu, 3. Farrington
Womens – 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington and Waipahu

Fire Making
Mens – 1. Kahuku

Lauga (Speech)
1. Waipahu, 2. Kahuku, 3. Farrington

Dance
Faaluma (Comedian) – Farrington
Mauluulu (Action Song) 1. Farrington, 2. Kahuku, 3. Waipahu
Sasa (Drum Dance) 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Waipahu
Taupou (Princess Dance) 1. Kahuku, 2. Farrington, 3. Waipahu
Costume – Farrington

Samoa Festival Winners 2004 (University)

Overall Winners
1st BYU-Hawaii
2nd American Samoa Community College
3rd Chaminade

Dance – Taupou (Princess Dance)
1st American Samoa Community College
2nd BYU-Hawaii
3rd Chaminade

Dance – Faaluma (Comedian)
1st Chaminade (tie)
1st Hawaii Pacific University (tie)
2nd UH Manoa

Musicians
1st BYU-Hawaii