• 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

Tahiti Ora Moemoea

Co-ed ʻŌteʻa (Tahitian), Taught by Whitney Sia

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.

Te Tama Maʻohi

ʻAparima, Taught by Whitney Sia

This song talks about the the love a parent has for her or his child. The love for the child is described through metaphors of nature. In the absence of the child, the parent misses them because they bring happiness to their life. They are the foundation of the parent's life that remains in their heart.

Hele Aku Au Me Hiʻiaka

Men's Kahiko, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

The song, Hele Aku Au Me Hiʻiaka, is a tribute to Kamohoaliʻi, the Hawaiian shark god, and his team of canoe paddlers. His loyalty and devotion to his sister, Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes, takes him and his men on a journey through the eight seas between Hawaiʻi and Tahiti on their double-hulled canoe, Mōʻī O Ke Kai (King of the Sea).


Women's Kahiko, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

Kahiko is a traditional style of Hawaiian dance usually performed to the beat of a drum. Hōpoe by Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, is a song about friendship and compassion. It shows the beauty of Pele's fire and lava, even when they come from a place of jealousy and destruction. 

Kaʻū Nui

Womenʻs ʻAuana, Taught by Joelle Patricio

This is song speaks of the natural wonders of the land near the Kīlauea Volcano, the home of Pele. The volcano goddess is said to bring life and beauty to her home of Kīlauea; sometimes in the form of wind, rain, and waves crashing onto the shore. It's fast pace will reflect the energy of Pele and the movements will be a tribute to her home.

E ʻIke i Ka Nani Aʻo Hōpoe

Womenʻs ʻAuana, Taught by Alida Holt

This song tells the famous Hawaiian tale in which the woman, Hōpoe, was turned into a rock off Puna's shore on the Big Island. Each verse of this song describes the beauty and elegance of the woman, Hōpoe, even after she had been turned into stone.  

No Luna

Couples ʻAuana, Taught by Dayton Towata and Joelle Patricio

No Luna by Kealiʻi Reichel, is a modern rendition of the traditional chant No Luna Ka Hale Kai. It is about Peleʻs friend, the goddess Moananuikalehua, who lived in the channel between the islands of Kauaʻi and Oʻahu. She was a shapeshifter who could transform between a red goatfish, a lehua tree, and a woman. The song speaks of her beauty and how one wishes to be close to her in the rough sea. 

Pili Kapekepeke

Men's ʻAuana, Taught by Ben Keller

Originally performed by Julian Piʻilani Akou, this version of Pili Kapekepeke by Na Palapalai is fast-paced and speaks about rocky and fickle relationships. The song refers to the fragility of relationships between people, emphasizing on a relationship between lovers but also refers to relationships between friends and family. This song ties into the personality of Pele and her fragile relationships with her sisters and her lovers. 


Samoan Slap, Taught by Alika Masei

Faʻataupati, or the Samoan slap dance came about around the 19th century in Samoa. The movements in many Samoan dances embody elements from everyday life, and in the context of the slap dance it refers to a time when the Kingdom was being overrun by mosquitoes. The phrase, "faʻataupati" means to forcibly slap, which is depicted within the dance through the primary motion of slapping the body. This year's Faʻataupati is an energetic dance, which incorporates not only the slapping movements, but being light on your feet and conducting spinning motions. 

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.

E Papa Waiari/ Poropeihana Haka

Haka (traditional Maori war dance), Taught by Ben Keller

The Haka will be composed of two parts: an entrance song, followed by the war dance. The song Epapa Waiari is a traditional New Zealand Folk song, telling the tale of an old Maori chief saying his final goodbye to his wife after a battle. It is a symbol of love and commitment, two major themes in Pele's tales. Dancers will then perform Poropeihana Haka. The Haka is a traditional war dance. This haka talks about the prohibition era in New Zealand, and the unlawful taxing of farmers. 

Kauhale o Kamapuaʻa

Faculty/Staff ʻAuana, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This contemporary song is a tribute to the demi-god shapeshifter, Kamapuaʻa, one of Pele's many lovers. It is said that Kamapuaʻa had the ability to take many forms: a handsome man, blades of grass, a humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa fish, and most commonly a boar. This song describes the beauties of Kamapuaʻa's valley home filled with misty rainbows and lofty waterfalls.

Ka Nani A'o Kīlauea

Co-ed ʻAuana, Taught by Courtney Lai

In the song, Weldon Kekauoha describes the first time he sees Pele's home, Kīlauea. From the windy cliffs overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu. to the sweet fragrance of the lehua blossom, this song beautifully describes the wondrous natural beauty of Pele's cherished home.

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. 

E Pele

Kahiko, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax and Courtney Lai

Exactly eight dancers are chosen to perform this dance and represent Pele and her seven sisters. This tribute to Pele and her family tells the story of their voyage across the ocean in search of a new home.