Hoʻīlina – Honoring Our Indigenous Legacies Inspiring Native Abilities
Cultural Practitioner, Tom “Pōhaku” Stone
Tom “Pōhaku” Stone, a legendary native Hawaiian surfer and waterman, has been on a life long journey in search of his cultural heritage. He is credited with single handedly revitalizing the sport of he’e holua (Hawaiian sledding), a centuries old extreme sport, and for the past several years he has been sharing his knowledge and his aloha as a teacher and craftsman, instructing students in the arts of sled building and ancient surfboard carving. Through this balance of riding, teaching, and craftsmanship, Pohaku has found peace within himself and a sense of pride in his culture that can never be broken. It is this peace and pride that is put into every papa holua and papa he’e nalu he crafts, making these works of art truly “He mea Kanaka Maoli – Native Made.” www.hawaii.bc.com
ʻIolani Palace (Virtual Presentation)
Pua ke kō, neʻe i ka heʻe hōlua.
When the sugarcane tassels [blooms], move to the sledding course.
The tops of sugarcane were used as a slippery bedding for the sled to slide on.
(ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #2703)
Traditionally, the pua kō (sugarcane flower) was placed on the kahua hōlua (sledding course) and the heat of the sun brought out the oils from the kō to provide for less friction and a fast-moving ride. Participants had the opportunity to experience the feeling of being on a hōlua. The sleek construction of ancient craftsmanship lent itself to a swift and exhilarating adventure. During this workshop they used kukui oil to lubricate the runners to provide for a smooth and fast ride. Whether lying down or in an upright position, the intensity of this traditional practice was felt.