Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

voyaging canoe maui

Birth of a Canoe

After nearly two decades in dry dock, the first oceangoing traditional voyaging canoe, Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani, embarked on its maiden voyage from Mala Wharf in Lahaina on July 11.
lobelia grayana

Behold the Lobelia

The Lobelia Grayana is an endangered lavender flower that grows in Waikamoi Preserve on Maui. Ancient Hawaiians called this plant opelu.

Home, Thatched Home

Virtually extinct for over a century, hale—traditional Hawaiian houses—are making a comeback with the new millennium.
Maui girls canoe club

Keeping Culture Afloat

Maui's winningest canoe club is borrowing lessons from the past to surge ahead.
Hawaiian cultural leaders in Maui

The Thousand-year-old Gift

Hawaiian culture evolved over millennia, then almost disappeared after Western contact. Maui's cultural advisors are committed to bringing it back.

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.
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.

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 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 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.”

Kapa: Fabric of a Culture

Pua Van Dorpe has spent a lifetime pursuing her passion—reclaiming this ancient and lost Hawaiian art
The Pleiades

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.
Hawaiian Kapuna

Who Are Na Kupuna?

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

Cultivating an Ancient Wisdom

How food is grown, prepared, and used is arguably as important in defining a culture as lineage, language and lore.

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 art

Making it Maoli

What defines art as Hawaiian? The answer may lie as deep as one’s DNA.
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

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

Bringing Hawaiian Culture To Light

The Four Seasons in Wailea has a brilliant new art collection—“the first of its kind anywhere,”--courtesy of modern Hawaiian artists.
stone carver maui

Carved in Stone

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

Watch out for Wedgies!

Wedge-tailed shearwaters spend the majority of their lives at sea, where they feed on baitfish and squid. They return to Hawai'i each spring to nest.
Lanai Hawaiian island

To Know Lāna‘i Once Again

Kepā Maly is restoring authenticity to the stories of the island he loves.
Ho‘olawa Farm

Explore Further: Native Knowledge from Ho’olawa Farms

Learn the traditional uses for native plants nurtured by Anna Palomino at Ho‘olawa Farms in Haiku.
Moo Hawaiian Dragon

The Sacred Spine

Ancient Hawaiian mythology tells of the sacred shapeshifting dragons, or moo, which holds supernatural powers. Their presence is still felt by many.
Hawaiian immersion schools

Olelo Hawaii

A revolution is happening in Island schools, as Hawaiian-immersion students find the keys to unlock their 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.
Kino Lau

Kino Lau

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