FESTPAC is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific Islanders. The South Pacific Commission (now Pacific Community) launched this dynamic showcase of arts and culture in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange. Every four years since, it has been held on a different Pacific Island. FESTPAC Hawaiʻi will feature live performances, cultural workshops, hands-on demonstrations, storytelling and more, including conversations on urgent issues Pacific Islanders face—from rising sea levels to widening social inequality.
The theme of FESTPAC Hawaiʻi, “E kū i ka hoe uli” (Take hold of the steering paddle), comes from a prophetic chant warning of turbulent changes on the horizon. Today, the chant exhorts indigenous people to reclaim our right to steer our own course, now and into the future. The logo, designed by Native Hawaiian artist Shane Pale, is inspired by the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant. The peʻa (canoe sail) and ʻuku koʻakoʻa (coral polyp) symbolize the voyaging prowess of our kūpuna (ancestors) and the shared belief that the ocean connects all people of the Pacific.