19-4074 Old Volcano Road Volcano
Free Guided Cultural Tour of the Niaulani Forest
Join Kumu Hula Ryan McCormack for a special tour of the Niaulani old-growth forest, with a Hawaiian cultural emphasis every fourth Friday of the month, from 9:30 -11:30am. Tour participants will meet at the Volcano Art Center (VAC) at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. in Volcano Village. The tour will focus on Hawaiian protocol, traditional chants, history and lifeways, as they relate to the native forest ecosystem. Topics will include protocol for “asking permission” to enter the forest and gather plant material, traditional knowledge and uses of forest plants, and local history and lore from the uniquely Hawaiian perspective. The tour may include examples of traditional Hawaiian oli (chants) and hula that relate to the forest.
Over 20 years ago, VAC signed an agreement with the Hawai’i State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to lease a 7.4-acre land parcel containing roughly 5 acres formally known as the Niaulani Forest Reserve and within it an established 1/7 mile loop trail. Members of VAC including artists, scientists, and educators from the Volcano community immediately began removing invasive species from the land. In signing the lease for Niaulani, VAC agreed to continue the generational legacy of land stewardship and to educate residents and visitors about its importance as a natural and cultural resource.
Ryan McCormack is an ʻŪniki ʻAi Lolo of Unukupukupu, having completed his formal rites of passage under the tutelage of Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō. He is Kumu Hula of Māunuunu and a Lecturer in the Hawaiʻi Life Styles department at Hawaiʻi Community College. Originally from Waimānalo, he now calls the rainforest of ʻŌlaʻa, Hawaiʻi Island, his home. His ongoing passion for hula and community wellbeing has been supported by a lifetime of dancing and an educational journey that has most recently culminated in a Master’s degree in Depth Psychology, with an emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, from Pacifica Graduate Institute. He delights in sharing the mythology, history, music, and dance traditions of Hawaiʻi, both here at home and around the world.
The tour is free and open to the public. Participation is limited so please call (808) 967-8222 to reserve your spot. This tour is sponsored by the County of Hawai’i’s Department of Research and Development.