Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

The Heartbeat of Hula

In contrast to modern hula, ancient hula is purely percussive.
Elizabeth Lindsey

Mapping the Human Story

When Elizabeth Lindsey was a child, Hawaiian elders foretold that she would embark on a journey to gather ancient wisdom that could guide future generations.
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.
Waiopae Fishpond Lanai Hawaii

An Ancient Fishpond Resurfaces

Lānaʻi Waiaʻōpae fishpond once helped feed the island's people. Today it's feeding a hunger for culture.

Open Mind

See what happens when ancient Hawaiian culture meets modern art techniques at Maui's annual Celebration of Hawaii exhibit at Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao.
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.
Ian Cole, Breadfruit Institute

Breadfruit

As it turns out, one breadfruit can feed a family, and one variety a people. Packed in coconut-husk fiber and dry leaves, ‘ulu accompanied the Polynesian voyagers in their canoes bound for Hawai‘i.
Hawaiian pau riders

Pa‘u Riders

Hawaiian pa'u riders carry on an exuberant tradition, bedecking both horse and rider with flowers and fine fabrics.
kure atoll albatross

Our Kūpuna Islands

Kūpuna (ancestor) islands form the core of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
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.
checking opihi populations

Clinging to Survival

In rural East Maui, two communities are taking a stand to conserve a weird wild food — and with it, a part of their culture.
taro farming

An Appetite for Culture + VIDEO

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

The Rebirth of Makahiki

Maui and her sister islands are reviving one of the most important spiritual times of ancient Hawai‘i: Makahiki.
Wailuku Maui murals

Painting the Town: Wailuku

A sophisticated public art series reveals Wailuku’s deep aloha.
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.
Ni'ihau shell lei

The “Flowers” of Niʻihau

From tiny shells that wash ashore on this forbidden island come priceless treasures.

Hawaii Ponoʻi

Get the translation of Hawai'i Pono'i.

Kumu

Though he didn't set out to become an expert on Hawaiian culture, Keli'i Tau'a may be the most revered teacher of hula and chant you never heard of.
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.
hula tradition

Where Tradition Holds Sway

John Ka‘imikaua's Legacy Lives on through Moloka‘i's Homage to Hula
Haleakala Crater

Into the House of the Sun

A millennium before Haleakala became a national park, Hawaiians traversed its moonscape crater. On the park’s centennial, we reprise that journey.
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.

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.
Polipoli farms Lehia and Brad

Finding Their Roots

How two homegrown farmers are working to save the future by looking to the past.
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.
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.
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.