The Lu'au          

There were two lu'au at the village, both considered to be the best on the island, and guests could attend either, both, or neither, since regular dinner service was also available.  The Wednesday lu'au, called Hula Mana, (“Spirit of Hawai'i”) was devoted to the chants and dances of Hawai'i.  The Friday lu'au, called Savai'i, (Samoan for “Native”) was devoted to the Polynesian dances and chants, including the Hawaiian.  Both were authentic, and the staging, lighting, and pacing were very professional.  Both featured the fire dancer.

The stage was separated from the audience by a neck of the lagoon, which reflected the torches during the show, but many of the dances and chants took place on a stage on the audience side.

Here was a dance on the near stage, with drums.  The men obviously were telling a story, but I don’t know what it was.  Sorry.

A bridge took performers to a small stage directly in front of the audience.

One contributor to the Trip Advisor ‘Island of Hawai’i’ forum took video clips of the lu’au and posted them for visitors to see.  They’re really nice and I asked him for permission to post them here, which he kindly granted.  Thank you, Ray Peterson!  (Just click on the pictures.)






This is a very Polynesian dance with drums.  The Hawaiians told their stories with their hands; the Polynesians told theirs with their hips (and they were very articulate).

This was Hawaiian hula at its best.  The more I watch this clip, the more impressed I am with the fluid skill of the dancers. 

While the guests were having cocktails, watching the pig being removed from the imu, and then having dinner, entertainment was provided by a trio featuring Clyde Oshiro.  During the day, he was one of the village’s porters; by night, a guitarist extraordinaire!   Clyde had asked for requests and someone said, “Tiny Bubbles,” which is so identified with the late Don Ho that everyone laughed, including the trio.  That’s why at the end Clyde said, “No more requests...” all in fun, of course.


I went over at 8:30 to see them light the fire, which had been laid the previous evening. (The mesquite is under the rocks.) The post in the middle was just a way of keeping a hole open to the bottom, the purpose of which you will see.


After four hours the fire was ready.  As you can see from the reaction of the men even with long handled tools, it was extremely hot until they smothered the fire with banana stalks and leaves, and then ti leaves.


After cooking for four and a half hours, the pig was removed from the imu. .  When the guests came over, Auntie Lei described the removal of the pig. (The sand had been removed, since there was no fun in watching men shovel sand.)


This video happened to catch an unintended event: When the dancers came on stage, one of the torches set fire to the thatched roof! It was quickly extinguished. The smoke that swept down at the end was not part of the act, but you’d never know it.

The popular fire dancer was a part of both lu’au performances.

Questions? Comments?