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.
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.
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.

Hawaii Ponoʻi

Get the translation of Hawai'i Pono'i.
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.
Hawaiian healing

Healing Across Generations

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

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.

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.
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.
Lanai Hawaiian island

To Know Lāna‘i Once Again

Kepā Maly is restoring authenticity to the stories of the island he loves.
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.
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.
Kamaka Kukona

Mover and Shaker

Triple threat: He can dance. He can chant. And he can sing.
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.
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

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

Island Royalty

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

What Does a Hawaiian Look Like?

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

Powered by Poi

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

An Appetite for Culture + VIDEO

How Maui farmers are cultivating ancient wisdom to feed a population—and a hunger for culture.
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.

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