Linfield College celebrated its milestone 40th annual Lu’au celebration last weekend with 85 students yelling war cries and doing slap dances, fire-knife dances and hulas. VIEW VIDEO
Back when the Rolling Stones were blasting from dorm speakers, Hawaiian students at Linfield College decided to hold a party in celebration of their traditional music, and their roots. They swapped out disco dances for hula, traded burgers for poi and salmon, and invited everyone they knew.
Four decades later, they’re still dancing hula and cooking up kalua pig. At their “Na a’a Hawaii: The Roots from Which We Grow” celebration this weekend, they set loose haka and fire-knife dancers, and showed off authentic Tahitian and Samoan dances.
Pacific Northwest colleges have seen an especially large influx of students from the Polynesian Islands, and Linfield College is no exception, with five percent of their liberal arts and science students coming from Hawaii. Hundreds of Hawaiians have helped propel Linfield’s famed football team to a half-century of winning seasons and championships, and a student band, Na Hemo, has brought Jawaiian music to colleges up and down the West Coast. Linfield was one of the first colleges in Oregon to recruit in Hawaii.