Fairmont Orchid honors Hokulea voyage with holiday chocolate display

  • Maku, also known as “hook from the heavens,” are also displayed in the lobby. (COURTESY PHOTO/FAIRMONT ORCHID)

  • A large chocolate canoe decorates the lobby at Fairmont Orchid throughout the holiday season. (COURTESY PHOTO/FAIRMONT ORCHID)

KOHALA COAST — Fairmont Orchid is paying homage to Hawaii’s iconic Hokulea voyage with a chocolate canoe on display in the resort’s lobby now through Jan. 2, 2019.

Crafted by the Fairmont Orchid pastry team led by Chef Daniel Sampson, the 13-foot long, 9-foot tall chocolate vessel is made of 140 pounds of chocolate, 80 pounds of gingerbread and 45 pounds of royal icing.

The canoe is also a nod to the Disney movie “Moana,” in which the people of Polynesia lost their sailing tradition until a young heroine from the village took to the seas to reclaim the ancient art of wayfinding.

In much the same way, the voyaging tradition in Hawaii was on the verge of extinction until it came to life in Hokulea — the double-hulled sailing canoe that traveled the world to deliver a message of hope and cultural revival. The iconic canoe set sail on its maiden voyage in 1976 to Tahiti, making it the first time in 600 years that a Polynesian voyaging canoe sailed across the ocean. Then in the summer of 2014, Hokulea circumnavigated the globe for three years, covering 46,000 miles and 26 countries. While paying homage to the seafaring techniques of her ancestors, she also charts the course for future generations as she delivers a message of caring for the earth.

Fairmont Orchid also has two ancient makau — Hawaiian fish hooks — prominently displayed in the lobby to signify their deep connection to the Hawaiian culture. As the ocean surrounding ancient Hawaiians was their source of food and means of travel, makau represented strength, prosperity, abundance and a great respect for the sea. It is sometimes referred to as the “hook from the heavens.”


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