Later is good, after you arrive at your Hawaiian Island of choice, but maybe now would be smart, too. Look for a great tip on this later in the post.
[Apprentice Blogmaster Note: If you've been back to this blog, and the news seemed to be stale, that's because IT WAS. My blog platform and I have been in serious dispute as to who runs this outfit. Especially about pictures I want to display. Not the kind of pictures, but where they are displayed, and if they'll be displayed at all. Well, we'll just see about that.]
OK, on to the Jewelry Department. Hawaiian jewelry runs the gamut from beautiful natural necklaces to island style gold and silver. For this post I’d like to concentrate on natural jewelry.
Kukui Nut Lei (necklace)
The Kukui lei (layee) on the right is an elegant example of Hawaiiana. Kukui leis, in very old Hawaii, were worn only by the ali`l (ahlee`ee), or royalty. In modern times they symbolize good luck.
You’ll find these nut leis in a variety of treatments. All the way from ground and polished to completely natural. Here’s an example of a lei with several different styles of the nut. The shells are called Opihi (oh pee hee) and the little seeds are from the Koa tree
The Kukui nut comes from the Kukui tree (duh!), a native tree of Polynesia. The tree was actually brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the early voyages from the south. So jewelry made from the nut is very much steeped in Hawaiian history.
Natural jewelry, especially leis, is not a gender thing in Hawaii. The lei to the left is mine, and I used to wear it to work every day as a tour guide/bus driver.
Kamani, wiliwili, and goat’s eye are common materials for leis. Of these, the red seeds from the wiliwili (weelee weelee) are probably the most impressive. I don’t have a good picture of the finished lei … and didn’t feel right about … er … ahem … borrowing one. When your in Hawaii, and in a quality gift shop, ask about a wilwili lei. Also, standby for sticker shock.
Ni`ihau Shell Lei
Speaking of sticker shock, the Ni`ihau shell lei is another pricey item, but well worth the money. Why so expensive? Mostly due to shortage of the pinkish shells and the meticulous care taken to create the lei. That, and because they are only made one place in the world … the Island of Ni`ihau in the Hawaiian chain. The pictue on the right shows a choker and a 3 strand lei. There are fake knockoffs, so insist on proof of authenticity.
Newsflash: For some temporary killer deals on Hawaiian jewelry hop on over to
hawaiistore4u.com/Hawaii-Store/Jewelry-and-Watches This is the "now" part I was talking about earlier. OK, OK, it’s my site, but regardless, there’s some real bargains lurking there.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: The capitol of the State of Hawaii is Honolulu on the Island of O`ahu.
Honolulu= Hono looloo
O`ahu= Oh ah hoo
Aloha a hui hou