A special day of Sense of Place: Music and Talk Story occurred at Kailapa Hawaiian Homestead in Kawaihae on Hawaii island on August 28, 2011. The music and stories of Kawaihae were presented by its people revitalizing community pride in the place where they live. The venue, in close proximity to Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, offered a renewing of connections. “With this project, we will bring people together at gatherings that celebrate the past, present and future of each community and allow us to appreciate and continue to nurture our unique culture.” said Aric Arakaki, Superintendent of Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
Elders and youth shared familiar and forgotten stories and names of places, some which are now no longer in existence. Musicians harmonized, playing songs that honored the area. Hula dancers gracefully revealed stories with their hands. All of the participants shared what was and is unique about their place.
Kailapa Community Association, Hui Kuapa, and Ala Kahakai Trail Association partnered to draw the community together for this event. Hui Kuapa brought fourteen years of experience doing similar gatherings across the island. Two other Music and Talk Story along the trail corridor are scheduled in Kona in October and in Honaunau in late October/ early November.
Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is one of nineteen national park units across the country awarded the 2011 America’s Best Idea grant by the National Park Foundation. This project was made possible in part through the generous support of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, the Anschutz Foundation and the Ahmanson Foundation.