t the heart of the Pākaʻa Project lies the classic Hawaiian coming-of-age story of the young boy, Pākaʻa, retold in Hawaiian language newspapers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and set to music by composer Jon Magnussen for the CMH’s Spring Wind Quintet and Hawaiian-language narrators Sam ʻOhu Gon III and B.K. Cabigon.
Pāka‘a lived as a boy on Kaua‘i long ago, in the cliffs of Ke-ahi-ahi (near the present-day Kealia) with his mother and her bird-catching brother, uncle Ma‘ilou . Pāka‘a is tired of the village fishermen making fun of his uncle for never providing the family with fish, only birds. He is also frustrated that the fishermen never give generously of their delicious catch to him, because they are prejudiced towards his uncle and his trade. Nevertheless, Pāka‘a figures out a clever way to claim his share of the catch, winning in the process many ka‘au (forty) of his favorite mālolo fish, and also winning the respect of his elders.
The Pākaʻa Project brings live performances to audiences across the State of Hawaiʻi and offers a free, downloadable Teacher Resource Guide in Hawaiian and in English, providing curriculum support for classroom use particularly in 3rd to 5th grades. This unique bilingual educational offering is the product of a collaboration involving educators and culture and language advisors Sam ʻOhu Gon III, B.K. Cabigon and Mailelauliʻi Naki; CMH education director J. Scott Janusch and composer Jon Magnussen.
A CD recording of Pākaʻa Lanakila! in Hawaiian and in English is also available on iTunes and other outlets. Please click on the link at right to go to iTunes. Below is a video excerpt of a Pākaʻa Lanakila! performance and downloads of the Teacher Resource Guide in English and Hawaiian.