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‘Living treasure’ Ka‘ai to speak on the makahiki

The Maui News

Sam Ka’ai, Hawaiian artisan, scholar, Hokule’a crew member and “living treasure,” will be speaking from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday to the Hawai’i Farmers Union United’s Mauna Kahalawai Chapter.

The evening also includes a hands-on ku’i kalo (taro pounding) activity and Hawaiian-style dinner at Maui Tropical Plantation’s Maui Chef’s Table venue.

His talk will focus on the upcoming makahiki season, unlock the complexity of makahiki, and illustrate how it pertains to modern times.

Ka’ai was born in Hana, and raised in Kaupo, Wailuku and Waiehu. His artistic talents were evident from a young age, and he has created countless works throughout the years. Some of his most notable pieces include two ki’i (images) that guided the first Hokule’a sailing canoe in her voyage from Oahu to Tahiti in 1976.

In 1978, ’80 and ’85, Ka’ai sailed as a crew member aboard Hokule’a.

In 2017, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs named Ka’ai as one of “Na Mamo o Ka Po’e Hawai’i: Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People.”

Dinner includes fresh pa’i’ai, poke, pork luau, dried fish, lomi salmon and more.

Admission is $10 for Hawai’i Farmers Union United members; $15 for nonmembers. This is a waste-free event; attendees need to bring their own plate and utensils.

Join the Hawai’i Farmers Union United at the event or by going to HFUUHI.org. Annual membership is $50 or $100 for a family of four.