Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

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.
olena

Pua ‘Ōlena

Turmeric is prized around the world for its yellow color, bold flavor, and medicinal properties. When Polynesian voyagers first sailed to Hawai‘i, they brought the pungent herb with them.
hanai

All in the Family

There’s a saying in English that you can’t choose your family. But with an ancient and enduring Hawaiian tradition called hānai, sometimes you can.
Hana fishermen

Sustaining Culture

Hāna’s families teach acclaimed chefs about living off the land—and remind themselves what it means to be Hawaiian.
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.
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.
Kino Lau

Kino Lau

Hawaiian lore finds the spirit of the divine in the ordinary world.
hala weaver in Hawaii

The Weave of History

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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
taro farming

An Appetite for Culture + VIDEO

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

Planting by the Moon

Finding the science behind an ancient, indigenous practice.
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.
Hawaiian Kapuna

Who Are Na Kupuna?

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

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