‘Imiloa Explores Mauna Kea Through New Program Series

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The 'Imiloa Astronomy Center. University of Hawai'i at Hilo photo.

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. University of Hawai’i at Hilo photo.

A new series will take place at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on a monthly basis.

“ʻImiākea: Discovering Maunakea” will aim at expanding the understanding of all the dimensions represented by Mauna Kea.

“Since opening our doors in February 2006, ‘Imiloa has had an impact on several hundred thousand kama‘āina and visitors alike,” said Ka‘iu Kimura, ‘Imiloa Executive Director.  “Now as we enter our second decade, we are making a concerted effort to build on this work and expand our reach as we continue to honor Maunakea by inspiring new generations to carry on the Hawaiian traditions of exploration and discovery through modern science and technology.”


Each month, the ʻImiākea series will be made up of an event at ‘Imiloa ranging from performances and hands-on workshops with practitioners to interactive panel discussions with experts in various fields and community experiences.

‘Imiloa officials say the ʻImiākea series may also include all-day family events.

The series opener will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Kumu hula husband-and-wife duo Kekoa and Pele Harman will perform mele and hula.


As graduates and faculty of ʻImiloa’s consortium partner, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, Kekoa and Pele are intimately involved in the Hawaiian language movement and community.

Hula and mele, moreover, runs deep in their roots as practitioners and back through their kūpuna; Pele is the moʻopuna (grandchild) of esteemed kumu hula, scholar, and historian Mary Kawena Pūkuʻi.

The pair will explore the mele “Maunakea” as a beginning point for the ʻImiākea series. Kekoa and Pele chose the mele because of its embodiment of a true sense of “aloha ʻāina” or love for place.


“Maunakea” is understood to be one of several songs written for Queen Emma’s 1883 visit to the Big Island, and it recounts her travels and notes unique characteristics of the areas dear to her heart, including Hilo, Puna, and Kaʻu, all of which also hold special meaning for Kekoa and Pele and their ʻohana.

Tickets for members are $10 and $15 for non-members.

Those interested in attending can purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by calling 932-8901.

‘Imiloa is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays).  For more information, visit the website or call (808) 932-8901.

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