HAWAIIAN PUPPET STORY TELLING

The Cultural Exchange Foundation is actively involved in efforts to preserve and share the work of the Hawai’ianna O Puna troupe of puppeteers, one of the last remaining groups carrying out this rich Hawaiian folk tradition. This group uses puppets to illustrate the ancient Hawaiian myths told by a master storyteller, Auntie Leilehua Omphroy.  Hawaiian folk traditions also are reflected in the puppets, which themselves are unique works of art. The Hawai’ianna O Puna performances pass the wisdom of elders to other generations. They dramatize myths about the origins of Hawaiian people telling wisdom acquired from nature and their ancient gods. Their work offers a unique contribution to folk art by combining oral history and puppet theater.

Our planned project will enable people everywhere to enjoy this little-known, disappearing Hawaiian folk art form. Activities will include:
 

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• A tour of performances at museums and schools in selected U.S. cities, made possible for young people and families to experience this uniquely artistic element of the native Hawaiian folk culture.
• A group of cultural enrichment activities associated with the performances.
• Production of a DVD capturing a live performance and presenting a variety of cultural enrichment materials.

Through our work, we seek to ensure that this unique element of the American culture is preserved for the future. We especially hope to help young Americans learn more about the diverse cultures that make up our nation.

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