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Statewide Story Ideas

Get Hands-On with Hawaiian Arts and Crafts


Native Hawaiians have a long tradition of creating unique arts and crafts many of which have become symbols for the Hawaiian Islands today. Several attractions have opportunities for visitors to participate in the creative process, including:


The Children of the Land Polynesian Cultural Center (Kauai) – As the only Polynesian cultural center on Kauai, the non-profit organization offers free cultural classes and events for children, adults, visitors and residents. Classes include coconut weaving, Hawaiian language and dance, kapa (Hawaiian bark cloth) making and more. The cultural center is located in the Kauai Village Shopping Center and guests are welcome to view the traditional Polynesian art on display and/or drop-in on classes. TheChildrenOfTheLand.com


Royal Hawaiian Center (Oahu) – The mall serves as an elegant backdrop for Naomi Wahinekaupua Braine’s complimentary class on traditional Hawaiian lei making. Braine, the owner of Aunty Bella’s Lei Stand, shares the kui (sewing) method for stringing flowers using special lei needles. Seasonal flowers, string and lei needles are provided, and the twice-weekly classes can accommodate up to 25 participants. The center offers other Hawaiian craft making lessons and activities such as quilting and hula lessons, all complimentary. RoyalHawaiianCenter.com


Iolani Palace (Oahu) – Every Saturday morning, learn the art of Hawaiian quilting from masters of the craft. In the lecture room of the Kanaina Building (old archives) on the Iolani Palace grounds, Poakalani and John Serrao and their daughters Cissy and Rae share the art of Hawaiian quilting with both visiting and local guests of all skill levels. The family has been perfecting their craft since 1972 and their work has been exhibited at the Mission Houses Museum and Queen Emma Summer Palace. IolaniPalace.org


Whalers Village (Maui) – The mall sits along the Kaanapali Beachwalk offering a variety of restaurants and shops to explore while taking a break from the beach. Every day, there are lei making lessons at center stage, sharing the art of flower, ti leaf, haku and wili lei. Other activities available to guests include: hula lessons, coconut husking demonstrations and evening Polynesian dance performances. There is also a whale museum showcasing Lahaina’s whaling past and the giant mammals’ annual journey from Alaska to Hawaii. WhalersVillage.com


Kaupulehu Cultural Center (Hawaii Island) – Located in the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu, the cultural center offers several craft making classes, such as quilting, lei making, weaving and bamboo stamping. Other educational activities are offered, including: hula, star navigation and ukulele lessons. The cultural center features a map of the islands of Polynesia inlaid into the wooden floor and is decorated with paintings by Hawaiian artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kane. FourSeasons.com/Hualalai
 

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