Each of the major Hawaiian Islands has a lei, treasured as its own.
Kaua'i The mokihana lei represents the Island of Kaua'i. The fruit of
the mokihana tree may be found seeking direct sunlight only in the wild and only
in the tropical rainforests of the Island of Kaua'i and the Big Island. Its
anise scented, leather fruit must be strung within a few hours of picking and
often serves as a sachet.
Known as the "Garden Island", Kaua'i is often regarded as the most scenic of all the islands; it is smaller than the other major islands, but with the same physical features. The island is easily accessible by car and almost everything is within a two hour drive; it's a picture perfect spot for honeymooners and those wishing to escape a hectic lifestyle. Take time and visit the stunning Kalalalau Valley on the na Pali Coast with its awesome cliffs and Waimea Canyon.
The official lei of the
Island of O'ahu is the fragrant ilima. It is composed of hundreds of flowers
strung together so only the edges are seen. Each requires many, many hours of
work. In ancient times, ilima leis were only worn by high chiefs. Today the lei
is often given to public officials.
"The Gathering Place", O'ahu is said to be where "Aloha begins!". Discovered roughly a thousand years ago by Polynesian explorers from the Marquesas, O'ahu has become a melting pot for people from all over the world. Sugar and pineapple plantations were abundant and today many historical sights await the mainland tourist: Waikiki Beach, 'Iolani Palace, Hawai'i Maritime Museum, Bishop Museum, Polynesian Cultural Center, and of course, Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial. The Battleship Missouri and the Punchbowl are but a few of the many possibilities. Festivals and fairs abound as well, and there are many eco-tourist and sports activities including golf and tennis to try.
Moloka'i Any plant the
ancient voyaging Polynesians chose to bring had to serve many useful purposes.
Among the kuku tree's many uses, its bark, flowers, and nuts are all used
medicinally. Also, its white flowers, fruit, and leaves are strung as the kukui
lei, which represents Moloka'i, whose symbolic color is a silvery green.
Most of the people who live here are of native Hawaiian ancestry. moloka'i has been called "The Friendly Isle", and is also known as the "Most Hawaiian Isle". It is the least developed of the major Hawaiian islands. Three separate shield volcanoes make it an island of surprising geographical diversity.
Eastern Moloka'i receives ample rainfall, and its streams and waterfalls have cut deep valleys in the land. Western Moloka'i is much drier, and consists for the most part of rolling hills and plateaus. Along the northeast shore, the world's highest sea cliffs drop into the ocean, while the south shore generally has a plain edge with coral reef. As the least developed of the Hawaiian Islands, it has no supermarkets, no traffic signals, no elevators, and no buildings over three stories.
"Kauna'oa kahakai" translates to "the
beach orphan vine". It is an entwining vine having tiny white blossoms and may
be found along roadsides and beaches, growing over plants and even up trees as
it seeks direct sunlight. The strands are twisted, then twined over each other,
forming kauna'oa, the official lei of the Island of Lana'i.
Lana'i is a dome with a single ribbed edge running across the middle of the island. Until a few years ago, the island was the world's largest working pineapple plantation. Two beautiful resorts await the discriminating traveler on this magnificent island. They are all inclusive and offer guests a truly superior accomodation with world class ammenities and spectacular undeveloped natural setting. It is a remarkable place to visit and a memorable place to return to again and again.
Introduced in the early 1800's,
this beautiful flower was soon called lokelani (heavenly rose) by the
Hawaiians who were fascinated by its color and fragrance. The Territorial
Legislature officially established the lokelani as the flower of Maui in 1923.
It is greatly prized and often worn in haku leis (a method of lei making which
involves intertwining flowers with greenery) for parades, special holidays, and
Maui County is comprised of three islands-Maui, Moloka'i, and Lana'i. Maui, often called the "Valley Isle" is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands,but almost everything is easily accessible by car, and the roadways are among the most scenic in Hawai'i-especially the Road to Hana!
Climb Mt. Haleakala (The House of the Sun) long before day break, and await the most breathtaking sunrise you may ever see anywhere. Or, relax and enjoy a bicycle ride down the mountainside, walk dozens of hiking trails, or visit dozens of historical points of interest. In winter, the national pasttime on the island is Whale Watching-either from shore or out on a boat where you can cry "Thar She Blows" and you see a great tail of a whale high above the waves!
Big Island Lehua
blossoms grow on the native ohi'a, the first tree daring enough to sprout from a
new lava field. The pom-pom stamens are sacred to the volcano goddess Pele and
were used by the ancient Hawaiians in a potion to lessen the pain of childbirth.
The red, salmon, pink, or yellow flowers are quite showy and energetically
participate in the Big Island of Hawai'i's official lei.
By Hawaiian standards, the Big Island is HUGE. It's almost twice the size of all of the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined and four times the size of Rhode Island on the mainland. And it has an active volcano as a major attraction which you can visit by car, tour bus, or see from above you as you take a helicopter tour of the island.
There are two major "sides" to the island: Kona, where you will find major resort accomodations, golf, horseback riding, tennis, and sport fishing; and Hilo, which includes Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls, and Waipi'o Valley, the valley of kings.
The "Forbidden Isle"
Island Flower: Pupu - White pupu shells found along the shoreling of the rocky island are pierced and strung on cords to form this lei.
The "Forbidden Isle"
Island Flower: Hinahina
Wear a lei, share a lei, give a lei.
Whether you are in Hawaii or elsewhere.
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