The Polynesian Club of Fresno
No Te Here O Te Hiro'a
"For the love of the culture"
This picture was taken in 1971, it was the first Polynesian band in Fresno and the beginning of the Polynesian Club of Fresno. From top left: Uncle Sione Kuma, Kolei Kuma Sr., Uncle Nano Talanoa and on the bottom Tai Tonga.
Our group was started by Kolei Fiefononga Kuma. Kolei was from Leimatua, Vavau, Tonga. He moved to Oahu in the late 1960’s and it was there that he met his wife, Linda. They married and eventually moved to Fresno. On October 7th, 1972 Kolei gathered dancers and musicians to make a show for his son Kolei Sii’s first birthday. Kolei called on his cousins and friends to put together the entertainment. That first event: a birthday luau, became a place for Polynesians in the area to connect with each other and enjoy the music and dances of their homelands. For many years our group was just a relaxed group of Polynesians that had banded together to relieve their homesickness.
Kolei passed away in 2002 but this show he loved and his love for the Polynesian culture lives on through his children. That small group of Polynesians hanging out in the garage at the Kuma’s house in the 80’s and 90’s grew to be what the group is today. Now, hundreds of dancers and drummers come weekly to the Polynesian Club of Fresno to share in the music and dances of Polynesia. We see generations of families each week. The first children Martha taught to dance are now teaching and leading classes along side of her.