Paradise Cove Luau

27 miles west of Waikiki, past the ancient town of Ewa is the beautiful Koolina cove that was reserved for Hawaiian royalty. Today the Koolina Resort is still reserved for our royalty - those who can afford it. In ancient days it was a death penalty for commoners caught trespassing. Fortunately today's laws are a bit more lenient.

hulagirlsFor us commoners, every night the Paradise Cove Luau (be sure and pronounce it Loo-ow, looah refers to the plumbing facilities - not a nice place to eat) is staged near the resort. There's a lot more to this luau than just the food. They teach the guests to make their own leis, there's tatoos (temporary) for the kids, hula exhibitions and coconut tree climbing. During the meal there's hula dancing and lessons for the more courageous (picture is from their brochure).

There's also a Hukilau (pronounced hook-ee-lah-oo) , when guests can help pull in fish nets to acient chants and conch shell bugles. Great fun for spectator and participant.

The kalua pig is cooked in the traditional style, in an imu, an underground pit. Kalua pork is pork that is cooked until it flakes off the bone. Delicious! Unlike ancient times, women today are allowed to eat pork.


Hawaiian "royalty" (picture from the Paradise Cove Luau brochure) attend the luau every night and some of the ancient practices are explained. On one side of the king stands the tabu marker or puloulou (the white robed guy on the right - pronounced poo-lohoo-lohoo) and on the other side was a guard with a spear, the Ihe. To approach closer to the royal personage was certain death. To tread on the King's shadow, stand in the king's presence or even approach the king on foot were also grounds for death.

Fortunately the ancient tabus are no more. Women can eat what they choose, there are no birds reserved for royalty (except for the endangered species) and men and women can eat at the same table.

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