Ho‘okūkū Pū Defined

Ho‘okūkū Pū (Shell Blowing Competition)

The Kamehameha Festival’s Ho‘okūkū Pū is the only Pū shell blowing contest in Hawai‘i. The blowing of the Pū [Charonia Tritonis] or [Cassis Cornuta], more commonly known as a Triton or Helmet seashell, is deeply rooted in Kanaka ‘Ōiwi culture. In ancient times the blowing of the Pū had multiple purposes and uses. Sometimes it was used to communicate across the waters between people on canoes and those on land. At times it was used to request permission to come on shore or enter a valley. The Pū was also used to gather the people as well as warn the people of an impending danger. While at other times the Pū was used to signal the approach of the Ali‘i (Chiefly Class).

The Pū blowing contest is a fun event open to all interested parties young and old. No registration required, simply show up at the Festival with your Pū and be ready to represent yourself, ‘ohana, and ancestors. The competition will be based on sound level, quality, and duration.