The club was started by the Anderson 'ohana who had recently moved to NC after living and raising their family in Hawai'i. They wanted to connect with other folks who were missing Hawai'i, so they stood in the lobby after Jake Shimabukuro's first concert in Raleigh in February 2006 and gathered the names of people interested in getting together. The first potluck was held on Lei Day in 2006 and 45 very excited people came, bringing favorite local dishes to share. New friends were made, stories were told and everyone agreed it had to continue!
Within a few months, a name was chosen — Ka Pu'uwai 'O Hawai'i — and a Steering Committee formed to plan activities and events in response to the enthusiasm shown by an increasing number of people. By 2008 the club was officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. An annual calendar was established and 7-8 events were planned to be held every year - including large public events such as Lei Day, the Mele Kalikimaka potluck, and the Lu'au. The Annual Lu'au, complete with an imu-cooked pig, is held in September and has become the highlight of the year.
Over the years, members of Ka Pu'uwai 'O Hawai'i have participated in community events and have shared Hawaiian culture and music with various community groups, including long term care facilities, schools, and libraries. Our mission is to perpetuate and share Hawaiian culture and we count on current and future members to help us build a strong and vital organization.
At our gatherings we always make time for hula, ukulele, and talk-story. We've had numerous cultural learning events where we've made ipu, lei hulu (feather lei), lauhala bracelets, kapa prints, and ohe hano ihu (nose flutes). We've also learned to play traditional games such as konane and 'ulu maika. Our members have many talents to share -- dance, music, cooking, 'olelo (language) and growing Plumeria! We hope you'll join the fun!