Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

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.
Hawaiian clothing

Wrapped in Tradition

This story straddles centuries to look at authentic Hawaiian clothing prior to Western contact, and how three young Hawaiian entrepreneurs are incorporating ancient meanings, patterns, and knowledge into their contemporary apparel.
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.
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.
Kino Lau

Kino Lau

Hawaiian lore finds the spirit of the divine in the ordinary world.
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 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.
hanai

All in the Family

There’s a saying in English that you can’t choose your family. But with an ancient and enduring Hawaiian tradition called hānai, sometimes you can.
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.
pueo

Hawaii’s Spirit Guardians

Animal, plant, elemental force, even the substance of dreams-in their different forms, ancestral guides helped to shape the Islands' first culture.
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.
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.
kalo field

Powered by Poi

Kalo, a legendary plant, has deep roots in Hawaiian culture.
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.

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.
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.

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 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.”
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.
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 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 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.
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 Kapuna

Who Are Na Kupuna?

Like the rest of us, Hawaiian mature, age and die. And there the similarity ends.
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.
hawaiian moon calendar

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.

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.

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