Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

Pohaku

You and I are older than the stones along the Puna shoreline. These stones started just a few years ago as gobs of lava from Pele’s current eruption, gobs that dripped into the sea only to be tumbled and polished then lobbed back onto the shore.
Hawaiian Kapa

Beauty in the Bark

Among Polynesians, the Hawaiians of old excelled in the making of kapa. Their distant daughters have begun to reclaim this once-lost ancient art.
Hawaiian Heirloom Bracelets

Links of Gold

“As Hawaiians, our mo‘olelo [stories] are so important,” says Maelia. “With heirloom jewelry, the mo‘olelo live on in each piece.”
Hawaiian hale

Social Structure: Hawaiian Hale

Indigenous architecture was shaped by—and helped to shape—life in early Hawai‘i. Descendants of the Islands’ first people are building on that foundation.
feather lei

The Feather Lei

An ancient art, as delicate as it is beautiful, has outlived the kings who once claimed it as their own.
poi pounding

VIDEO: Papa Kuʻiʻai (Poi Board) Making

Watch as we transform a piece of monkey pod into a papa kuʻiʻai (poi board) during this workshop on Maui, hosted by the Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United.
Hawaiian dyes

Shades of the Past

More than any other Polynesian people, Hawaiians excelled in the use of color, coaxing incredible hues from the natural world around them.
kamaʻaina

The Meaning of Kamaʻaina

The Hawaiian work kamaʻaina isn’t so much about bloodlines and birthplace, as about a fully intentional way to live.
Hawaiian games

Games Hawaiians Play

Children of Hawaii play traditional island games in the spirit of Makahiki. Ancient cultural competitions in connection with the festival and its meaning.

Hawaii Ponoʻi

Get the translation of Hawai'i Pono'i.

Instructions: How to Make a Lei

Celebrate May Day in Hawaii with a fresh flower lei. Here are step by step instructions on how to sew your lei.
Hawaiian Kapuna

Who Are Na Kupuna?

Like the rest of us, Hawaiian mature, age and die. And there the similarity ends.
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

In the plaited leaves of the pandanus tree, a lauhala master passes along an ancient tradition.
Kamaka Kukona

Mover and Shaker

Triple threat: He can dance. He can chant. And he can sing.
Kings Highway - Daniel Sullivan Photography

On the King’s Trail (VIDEOS)

A writer and a photographer explore the remains of the King's Trail on Maui, where dozens of archaeological sites spring up from the side of the trail.
Hawaiian healing

Healing Across Generations

Following the ancient practices of our ancestors has restored a missing piece—healing across generations.
Gordean Bailey

Island Royalty

Kumu hula and lei maker, Gordean Bailey has spent a lifetime sharing the culture of aloha.
limu

The Lure of Limu

The study of seaweed has enabled Hawaiian women—past and present—to sharpen their scientific eye, flavor bland meals, and exercise the art of metaphor.
Hawaiian weapons

The Weapon Maker’s Art

Wood and cordage, tooth and bone are used to recreate the ancient Hawaiian instruments of war. A modern weapons maker finds connection to a culture.
Hawaiian names

Defining Identity

When your name includes twelve syllables and nearly as many letters as the alphabet, you often have some explaining to do.
hawaiian moon calendar

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.

Written in Stone

A historic site yields clues to Maui’s ancient culture
hawaiian fisherman nets

The Fisherman’s Net

From ancient times, Hawaiians have used this handwoven tool to gather an ocean harvest. For one Maui fisherman, it still holds a way of life and a sense of identity.
red sweet li hing mui on maui

Li Hing Mui: Hawaii’s Favorite Snack

Li hing mui is a favorite Hawaii snack. Lehia shares her top 10 ways to eat this salty sweet treat.
video

The Heartbeat of Hula

In contrast to modern hula (which is typically accompanied by Western-derived stringed instruments, such as the slack-key guitar or ‘ukulele), ancient hula is purely percussive.

Lono’s Season

Teya Penniman explores the cultural significance and modern practices of Makahiki season in Hawaii. Learn about this sacred celebration in honor of Lono.
native Hawaiians

What Does a Hawaiian Look Like?

Through their portraits, handprints and signatures, Jordan Murph is helping native Hawaiians create an indelible legacy.

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