Kaanapali Hotel launching special canoe - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaanapali Hotel launching special canoe

Kimo Lindsey Kimo Lindsey
Ka'ilila'au Ka'ilila'au

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kaanapali Beach Hotel will hold a special canoe launching ceremony Tuesday. While the canoe wasn't made with traditional Hawaiian tools it does have sentimental value.

The four person single hull canoe took four months to make and all 280 hotel employees helped.

Employees at Kaanapali Beach Hotel set aside the sheets and picked up a saw. In an effort to educate employees and guests about Hawaiian culture they are building a canoe from scratch.

"Our goal is to have every employee touch the canoe in one way or another," said Mike White, Kaanapali Beach Hotel General Manager.

They took a 100 foot albizia tree and cut, carved and caressed it into a canoe.

Despite being part of a Hawaiian tradition program they did use modern day tools. And the albizia tree is an alien species not native to Hawaii but the hotel looked past that because this tree had significance. It was on the Lindsey family's property in west Maui.

Kimo Lindsey and his son Ka'ilila'au talked about making it into a canoe one day but when he was 11 years old he died in an accident. The hotel heard and asked if they could turn the tree into the canoe.

"When they asked me it was no problem, yes that's what we've been waiting for," said Leimaile Lindsey, mom.

"The only thing we like out of this would be for have the canoe named after my son, because for one he had already seen us being in one canoe, that would be one good tribute to him," said Kimo Lindsey, dad.

The finished canoe will be named after Ka'ilila'au, fitting since his name means skin of a tree.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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