2008 is the year of the paniolo-- the Hawaiian cowboy-- in honor of Ikua Purdy and his trusty teammates, all Waimea cowboys, who made the long trek to Wyoming to compete in the national Rodeo and kicked all their mainland haole butts in 1908.
The opening event for this cowboy-packed year was a display and celebration at the theatre-- and this year the emphasis is on Paniolo of Japanese descent. These great musicians had a wonderful set of all the Waimea and Big Island songs done in the real old style.
The event opened with some Hula Kahiko (ancient hula) and oli (chant) telling the origin story of Waimea. Appropriately, it was a sacred place for women and for giving birth-- hence the name (Wai: water, Mea: red.)
Rosie climbed up onto this beautiful tutu's lap halfway through the music and stayed there happily for 20 minutes.