Lifestyle

VAC to Feature Stories of Lava & Explosions

July 11, 2016, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 5:31 PM
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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams captured this small explosion triggered by rocks falling from the Halema‘uma‘u Crater wall into the lava lake on May 3, 2015, when the lake surface was just below the vent rim. USGS image.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams captured this small explosion triggered by rocks falling from the Halema‘uma‘u Crater wall into the lava lake on May 3, 2015, when the lake surface was just below the vent rim. USGS image.

Bobby Camara and Don Swanson will hold an interactive discussion—Reconstructing Kaluapele: Stories and Observations of Lava and Explosions—at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus, on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m.

Oral histories in the form of chants about Pele—the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano—her family and their works, contain evocative poetry and stories of volcanic or other natural events, cloaked in metaphor and hyperbole.

Camara and Swanson will discuss how oral traditions about Pele can be interpreted in terms of what we know today about Kīlauea.

Together Swanson and Camara are able to piece together a history of eruptive and explosive activity using feet-on-the-ground exploration and keen observations of sometimes-subtle differences of rock and ash.

They will also share some of their interpretations about the volcanic history of Kīlauea by linking geology and cultural traditions so we may all gain a richer appreciation of this unique place.

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Camara was born and raised in Honoka‘a, retired from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and has lived in Volcano for over 30 years. He is a naturalist, geographer, ethnobotanist and researcher, and is passionate about learning and sharing information about his ‘āina.

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Swanson is a geologist and former head of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. He grew up in the shadows of volcanoes in Washington and studied Mount St. Helens for 10 years before, during and after its infamous eruption in 1980. He has lived in Hawai‘i for nearly 20 years.

This event part of the Thursday Nights at the Center, an evening series at the Volcano Art Center focusing on art, Hawaiian culture and our environment.

The series is intended to inspire, enhance art and life experience, and foster community connections.

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The event is free; a $5 donation is appreciated.

The Volcano Art Center is a nonprofit educational organization created in 1974 to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i’s people and environment through activities in the visual, literary, and performing arts.

Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org.

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