Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

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 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.”
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

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

Marked

More than skin deep, traditional tattoos link modern Hawaiians to their ancestors.
Hawaiian Goddess Pele

Fire Goddess

How could we dedicate an issue to all things hot about Hawai‘i and not include Pele? The volcano goddess is as renowned for her fiery passions as for the molten lava with which she creates new land.
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.
Pele by Linda Rowell Stevens

In Praise of Wāhine

From the very beginning, Hawaiian culture has celebrated women’s power, passion and intellect. We dig into Hawaiian wāhine culture to learn more.
noni plant

Seeds across the Seas

A race of Polynesian seafarers managed to carry with them food for the rest of their lives in Hawai‘i.

Home, Thatched Home

Virtually extinct for over a century, hale—traditional Hawaiian houses—are making a comeback with the new millennium.
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.
stone carver maui

Carved in Stone

The life of Kālaipōhaku Hoaka Delos Reyes has been shaped by the medium he shapes.
hawaiian moon calendar

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.
Hokulani Holt

What is a Hawaiian Education?

We ask three maoli (native) educators to consider what it means to be an educated Hawaiian in the twenty-first century—and why it matters.
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.
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.

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.
Lanai Hawaiian island

To Know Lāna‘i Once Again

Kepā Maly is restoring authenticity to the stories of the island he loves.
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.
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.
native Hawaiians

What Does a Hawaiian Look Like?

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

Sustaining Culture in Hāna

Hāna’s families teach acclaimed chefs about living off the land—and remind themselves what it means to be Hawaiian.
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.
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.
Hawaiian healing

Healing Across Generations

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