Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

Kino Lau

Kino Lau

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

Defining Identity

In Hawaiian, we do not ask, What is your name? We ask, Who is your name? We truly believe it breathes and it has a life.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 moon calendar

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.
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.

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.
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.

Home, Thatched Home

Virtually extinct for over a century, hale—traditional Hawaiian houses—are making a comeback with the new millennium.
Hawaiian immersion schools

Olelo Hawaii

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

Who Are Na Kupuna?

Like the rest of us, Hawaiian mature, age and die. And there the similarity ends.
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.
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

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

Wayfinders

Polynesians navigate Earth's largest ocean by celestial bodies and seabirds, winds and ocean swells.
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.

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