• 5:30 p.m. - Doors Open, Dinner Service Begins
  • 7 p.m. - Show Begins

Note: Doors will close promptly at 7 p.m. No late admittance.

Show Details

Annual Lu'au at Willamette University

Halemano, Kuʻu Wahine

Womenʻs Kahiko, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This song tells the story of Halemano, a chief of ancient Hawaiʻi, and his pursuit of love to a woman he met in his dreams, Kamalalawalu. It speaks of the beauties of the mountains, winds, rains, and sacred places of Hawaiʻi that the couple visited as they traveled through the different Hawaiian islands.

Mokauea Kuʻu Moku

Menʻs Kahiko, Taught by Andrew Lum

Mokauea, the small island off the eastern shore of Oʻahu, is known for its overwhelming number of iwa birds. This song speaks of a canoe trip to the island, Mokauea, and how the sight of this special bird is a sign to everyone that our ancestors are watching over us.

ʻO ʻOe ʻIo

Royal Court, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This song is a Hawaiian hymn, or hīmeni, for the highest perpetual god, Ka Makua Mau Loa.  When missionaries first came to Hawaiʻi, they brought with them their religion. Many Hawaiians quickly adopted Christianity and hymns like this one became integrated into Hawaiian culture. 

Lepe ʻUlaʻula

Menʻs ʻAuana, Taught by Michael Spetich

This mele is about a boy from Kawaihae on the Big Island. When ranches were built throughout the islands, the Hawaiian cowboys, also known as paniolo, became very popular among Hawaiians. This playful song describes how a young paniolo tries to catch a prized rooster.

Do The Hula

Womenʻs ʻAuana, Taught by Joelle Patricio

This is a hapa-haole song, characterized by the Hawaiian style of song and music that is sung in English. It describes how dancing hula can be utilized as a beautiful form of communication and how dancing hula can make any day much better. 

Sophisticated Hula

Womenʻs ʻAuana, Taught by Kahana Kaneyasu

Another hapa-haole song, Sophisticated Hula is of the swing genre. This mele is about dancing with your partner and describing the enjoyment that one gets out of dancing hula. Our dancers wear a cellophane skirt, typically used by dancers during this time period. 

Ka Mate / Tika Tonu

Haka, Taught by Jason Bayang

Traditionally a war-chant, the Haka come from Aotearoa (New Zealand). Ka Mate tells the story of a chief’s escape from death in a battle. Tika Tonu Atu displays the message of thinking right and true for the Maori youth.

Te Pua Noanoa

Aparima, Taught by Whitney Sia

Aparima, a Tahitian style of dance, describes the beauty and joy found in gathering flowers and dancing. This song talks about making garlands and crowns out of the gathered flowers and continuing to dance with the fresh flowers.

Fire Knife Dance


Fire knife dancing comes from the ancient Samoan tradition of alilao, where the warriors demonstrated their prowess in war by catching, dancing with, and twirling war clubs. It was only in the 20th century where torches were used and lit, as this Samoan tradition became westernized and modernized.

ʻŌteʻa Tekou

ʻŌteʻa, Taught by Kahana Kaneyasu

In Tahiti, the traditional drum-dominated dance, called ʻŌteʻa, is similar to Hawai'i's kahiko. However, their style is danced with only music and drums, without any singing or chanting.  The traditional Tahitian dance is recognizable by its fast hip movements danced to the beat of the to'ere drum and the extravagant costumes, which our dancers hand-made themselves.

Mauna Loa

Couples Dance, Taught by Kahana Kaneyasu and Andrew Lum

Contrary to popular belief, this song is not about the mountain or the ship, but rather about a love affair that has come to an end. It speaks of different places on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and compares a lover to the mountain, Mauna Loa. Presented tonight as a couples dance, the performers use a handkerchief to show that they would do anything for a loved one, including wiping cockroaches off their dirty shoes. 

Noho Paipai

Faculty/Staff, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This song tells about how much two people love each other, and the joy that they get out of being together. The song compares a lover to a beautiful garland of roses, and says that the two are strangers to each other, but when they kiss, they become familiar and friendly. 

Hanohano Ka Lei Pīkake


The fragrance of the pīkake, or jasmine flower, is used in this song to describe of a person you cannot live without. It talks about how the sweet smell of the lei adorns a person, and the feeling of being warmed by a loving embrace. 


Finale, Taught by Jade Aiona

This song tells of the beauties and wonders of a place called Kāneʻohe. Tranquil are the winds, sparkling are the streams, dazzling are the waterfalls, and marvelous are the mountains that surround and fill this place.