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Experience Polynesia

Signature Event

Event Details

Kick off the summer at MIM with our annual celebration of Pacific Island music and culture! Enjoy musical performances, hula dance lessons, a Polynesian-inspired menu at Café Allegro, and even try your hand at the ukulele.

Gifts Available for Purchase
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Shop the Museum Store for a wonderful selection of Polynesian CDs, books, gifts, and instruments, including everyone’s favorite—the ukulele.

Photo Booth
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Have your picture taken with costumes and props at MIM’s custom photo booth, and instantly get your own copy to take home.

Polynesian Slit Drum Craft
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Add an exciting instrument to your collection by crafting a Polynesian slit drum! Whether it is a pātē or tōkere from the Cook Islands, a lali from Fiji, or a tō’ere from French Polynesia, these instruments are played during ceremonies, at festivals, and to communicate throughout the islands of Polynesia. MIM volunteer team members will be on hand to help you craft and decorate your own slit drum.

Ukulele Lessons
10:00–10:30 a.m., 12:15–12:45 p.m., 1:30–2:00 p.m., and 2:30–3:00 p.m.
Dive into the fun of playing a ukulele as Girl Scout Junior Museum Guides (Saturday) and MIM’s talented volunteer team members (Sunday) guide you in learning to play a few chords. Lessons will be offered four times throughout the day on both days.

Polynesian Mini-Tours
10:00 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. (Saturday only)
Join Girl Scout Junior Museum Guides (6th–12th graders) on a short, family-friendly tour of the Asia Gallery, with a special focus on Polynesia. Mini-tours are offered on Saturday only and will take place four times throughout the day, so be sure to drop in on these fun activities.

Suli O Ali’i Dance Performance
10:15 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Don’t miss the dynamic dancers of the local Polynesian dance group Suli O Ali’i, as they tell stories of their ancestors through music and movement with pieces such as “Vaka Atua” and “LuaAfe.” Suli O Ali’i translates to “descendants of chiefs,” as many of the dancers have deep cultural and family connections with Polynesia. Their performance will draw attention to the beauty of several South Pacific islands, including the Marquesas Islands and Tokelau.

Polynesian-Inspired Lunch Menu Available for Purchase
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Stop by Café Allegro and enjoy a special menu featuring Polynesian favorites, such as Hawaiian shoyu chicken, Polynesian pork barbecue, and vegan Maui soup, plus a delicious coconut flan for dessert.

Hula Workshops
11:00–11:30 a.m. and 1:00–1:30 p.m.
Join Na Leo Kupono’s team of instructors to learn the techniques and hand movements of ancient (kahiko) and modern (‘auana) hula dance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned dancer, we invite you to drop by and pick up some new moves!

Patrick Ki Hawaiian Music Performance
12:30–1:15 p.m.
From Sedona by way of Hawaii, Patrick Ki will showcase the gentle melodies and rhythms of traditional Hawaiian music. Take a trip to the islands while listening to the soothing and uplifting sound of ukulele and slack-key guitar.

Curator Talk: Polynesian Instruments
2:15–3:00 p.m.
Join Colin Pearson, MIM’s curator for Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East, for a discussion of instruments from the museum’s Polynesian collection. Be prepared to go on a musical journey across the islands that highlights ukuleles, slit drums, nose flutes, and other exotic instruments and materials.

Na Leo Kupono Dance Performance
3:15–4:00 p.m.
Enjoy the spirit of Polynesian dance with local group Na Leo Kupono, whose name means “the natural voices” or “the natural blend.” The group began with the Dolfo ‘ohana family on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i. Members of Na Leo Kupono are of Polynesian descent and were raised on the islands. Join them for an exciting performance of Samoan, Tahitian, and Tongan dances.

Café Allegro Lunch Menu Highlights

Vegan Maui Soup
Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Coconut Milk

Spicy Hawaiian Fish Soup
Garlic, Tomatoes, and Choy

Polynesian Pork Barbecue
Rice, Soy Sauce, and Pineapple Coleslaw

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken
Rice, Ginger, and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Banana Bread Pudding

Coconut Flan

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