Culture: How to Make a Hawaiian Lei
Hawaii was one of many locations connected to New Bedford through whaling voyages. A Lei is a traditional garland from Hawaii that is used to represent a variety of events and celebrations in someone’s life. Lei giving is also used to welcome and show peace, love, honor, or friendship for another person.
Originally, the lei custom was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by early Polynesian voyagers, who navigated by the stars in sailing canoes. With these early settlers, the lei tradition in Hawaii was born. Leis can be constructed of flowers, leaves, shells, seeds, nuts, and feathers. What a lei is made of can determine its significance.