June 12, 2014

Lei Leila Lei

Lei-making demonstrations are frequently given at the Jaggar Museum at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. (I had initially thought I would find Mick Jagger, but he was not there.)

[To set the mood when reading further, click here.]

A Hawaiian lei is not what you think it is. Rather, it is a garland of flowers, leaves or shells that are strung together as a sartorial adornment to your grass skirt or even business suit.  When placing a lei around someone's neck, it is like sharing the breath of life from one to the other, or sharing your divinity. It is a gesture of love and aloha, especially upon arrival or departure.

There are the several types of Hawaiian leis.  They include:

Hilo (pro: HEE-lo) - Created by braiding an open-ended strand of dried green ti leaves and stems.

Wili (pro: WEE-lee) - Created by inter-wrapping both flowers and leaves, almost like a wreath. (This style can also be worn as a crown for the head.)

Hipu'u (pro: hi-POO-oo) - Created by looping together verdant leaf stems so that they form a braid on the underside.
Kui (pro: KOO-ee) - This is the traditional lei of flowers strung bloom to stem in a repetitive pattern. The most fragrant kui are made from pikoke, plumeria, ginger and tuberose. This lei should be balanced on all sides.
All you need are flowers, leaves, shells and string to create a lei and share a sense of aloha with those you love.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing your pictures and posting!

Big Island Kona girl living on Oahu

Bonni Brodnick said...

Maholo for writing, Big Island Kona Girl.

Blog Archive