Pā‘ū

Ride into history

 
 
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the film

Among the facets of the Hawaiian renaissance being chronicled and nurtured by a diverse cadre of caretakers, filmmakers, and community activists—including ‘ōlelo, hula, mele, mālama hāloa / lo‘i kalo, loko iʻa, kakau, and others—one practice has remained largely absent from widespread recognition for its deep and abiding role in Hawaiian culture: the custom of pā‘ū riding by the wahine holo lio.

This film, Pā‘ū, follows a multigenerational horse-riding unit as it embarks on a year-long preparation to represent the island of Ni‘ihau during the 100th anniversary of the King Kamehameha floral parade celebration.

Their effort, set against the backdrop of this important milestone, is interwoven with historical wisdom and recollections from previous pā‘ū riders and paniolo, all of whom guide this cultural practice into its next century.