On the southernmost shore of Maui, past the Shops of Wailea and all the main resorts there, is a place most tourists have never heard about—a beach area with a dancing and drumming ritual sans-clothing. Down a long and dusty dirt road, mostly suited for SUV’s, because of the bumpy, pot-holed and rugged trails, there’s place called Big Beach; a place many tourists have heard of. What many don’t know, however, is what happens just to the very right of Big Beach…what is known, respectfully, as Little Beach.
Through a small thicket of brush, a little overhang of a tree-bridge, is a sight so spectacular, one would have to see it to believe it. Best of all, if you are invited, to experience it.
Every Friday night, just before twilight and the spectacular sunsets Maui is known all over the globe for, an exciting, somewhat Pagan rite takes place until midnight or some point thereafter—whatever the vibe calls for. A gathering of a dozen people at times, and at other times, a much larger crowd, surround a smoky bonfire to dance and chant to the sacred, warrior beat of Hawaiian drums made of koa wood and tapa cloth. This is about the only cloth you’ll see, as men and women of all ages partake in a sky-clad ritual. Breasts and testicles bounce to the ancient rhythms of Old Hawaii.
Pakalolo, better known as “Maui-Wowie” marijuana is passed along to the dancing and chanting partiers in the form of bongs, pipes and rolled joints. Of course there is also Island lager and rum, some concocted into the traditional Mai-Tai, some drunken straight from the bottle or in halved coconut shells.
As the ancient drum beat lulls the naked crowd into a trance-, some sway graceful forms of the old Hawaiian Hula in respect for their Gods and ancestors. Other locals simply hoot and holler, stomping their bare feet or waving their limbs to the moon and stars in a frenzy of excitement or in a time- honored and symbolic dance. Their shadows flicker across the smooth white sand, and you can hear the ocean tide with a sweet song of its own.
Maui is known for many things; 80 miles of beach, “The Road to Hana,” the idyllic setting for weddings and honeymoons, turquoise seas, cerulean skies, and the sun and humidity being so close to the Equator. I have just shared with you a different, secret perspective. Now, where will you "hang-loose" when you go to Maui? "
Connie Werner Reichert is an award-winning travel writer recognized for her work in the hall of fame of the International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance and American Writers and Artists, Inc. A native of the Big Island, her family divides their time between California and Hawaii. The former radio and TV news broadcaster may be reached at Connieis.pacbell.net. Please visit her website at www.authorsden.com/conniewreichert.