Hawaiian Culture

Hawaiian culture stories published by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine.

Hawaiian tatoo

Marked

More than skin deep, traditional tattoos link modern Hawaiians to their ancestors.
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.

Hawaii Ponoʻi

Get the translation of Hawai'i Pono'i.
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.
Gordean Bailey

Island Royalty

Kumu hula and lei maker, Gordean Bailey has spent a lifetime sharing the culture of aloha.
kalo field

Powered by Poi

Kalo, a legendary plant, has deep roots in Hawaiian culture.
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.”

Home, Thatched Home

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

Into the Source

Hawai'i's creation chant weaves together threads of ancient Hawaiian thought--heady science, deep spiritualism, and tantalizing innuendo.
Ni'ihau shell lei

The “Flowers” of Niʻihau

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

Hawaiian Turmeric

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.
Hawaiian art

Making it Maoli

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

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 pau riders

Pa‘u Riders

Hawaiian pa'u riders carry on an exuberant tradition, bedecking both horse and rider with flowers and fine fabrics.
Hawaiian moon calendar phases

Hawaiian Moon Calendar

In its wax and wane, Hawaiians of old found the secrets to sustainable living.
Hana fishermen

Sustaining Culture in Hāna

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

An Appetite for Culture + VIDEO

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

Resurrecting Moku‘ula

Bit by bit, archeologists are uncovering a forgotten island where kings once ruled and a sacred lizard kept watch.
Hawaiian canoe carver

A Carver of Canoes

Using ancient navigation techniques as a guide, master woodworker Keola Sequeira breathes new life into the ancient art of canoe building right here on Maui.

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