Hawaiian Quilts, Artistry Stitched with Aloha

2 02 2016

Image result for hawaiian quilts

Hawaiian Quilt Circle of Flora










Learning Hawaiian Words: Ipu

1 12 2015



A gourd, an all purpose container used for food and water, or as a hula implement.

`Uli `Uli

14 11 2015

The `uli uli are gourd rattles used as hula implements. They can be used singly or in pairs, by all genders, from the most playful `auana to the fiercest kahiko dances.

Small gourds often from the la`amea tree are hollowed out and filled with ali`i poe seeds and topped off with colorful traditional feather-work.

Hula as History

20 09 2015

The easiest way to memorize our history is by doing it through the hula. Hula keeps our history alive, and without it one cannot truly identify oneself as being Hawaiian. -Al Makahinu Barcarse

Portuguese Sweet Bread

3 09 2015

If you are lucky enough to be passing by the Old Greenwell Farm on a Thursday between 10-1 stop by to see the Kona Historical Society “Living History” demonstration. Go down in the field where you will see their wood-fired forno, an outdoor stone oven, they built in 2005 to bake Portuguese Bread the old-fashioned way.

Greenwell Farm’s Living History Display

The Portuguese from the Azores and Madeira started coming to Kona in the 1870s to work in the ranching industry in Hawaii. Where they settled they would build these stone ovens and bake their breads, soon they began baking and selling the breads to supplement their income.

Portuguese Sweet Bread hot from the wood fired oven Thursdays 10-1

It’s a great thing to see this artful process and witness the excitement on the faces of those waiting for the freshly baked warm bread straight from the outdoor oven. A splendid delight with a pat of butter a tasty part of Hawaiian History.

The Kona Historical Society offices, H.N. Greenwell Store, and the Portuguese stone oven are all located on Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 11), about 14 miles south of the town of Kailua-Kona, between mile markers 111 and 112. Look for our sign on the makai (toward the ocean) side of the road. GPS: N19° 30.647 W 155° 55.225

Hawaiian Quilting: a Colorful Art Form

20 06 2015

Missionaries taught quilting to the women of Hawaii who transformed it into a uniquely Hawaiian art form. The mild weather allowed far more time for details appliqué and quilting. Since one was not dependent on the quilt for warmth quilting was seen more as a leisurely activity that can be a good thing because it takes many months of hand stitching to complete.

Quilt motifs are drawn from forms of favorite plants. Hawaiian quilts typically have a central appliquéd motif and the stitch pattern often echo that design. The pattern of quilting is often likened to the imprint left by a patterned beater on Hawaiian kapa.


Hawaiian Quilts: An Ongoing Tradition

7 04 2015


million little stitches

2010 Hawaiian Rain Forest Postage Stamps

10 05 2013

Stamp Announcement 10-22: Nature of America: Hawaiian Rain Forest

These handsome stamps feature a Hawaiian rain forest painted by John D. Dawson to remind us all of the important of preserving this habitat for the plants and animals that need shelter from civilization.

from the US Postal Service site:
Featuring a Hawaiian rain forest, the 2010 Nature of America issuance is the 12th stamp pane in an educational series focusing on the beauty and complexity of major plant and animal communities in the United States.

The setting for the colorful acrylic painting on the stamp pane is a rain forest on Hawaiʻi’s largest island, which is also named Hawaiʻi. Artist John D. Dawson painted the scene and each of the previous ones in the Nature of America series.

To illustrate the spectacular biodiversity of a Hawaiian rain forest, the artist depicted more than 24 different species. The scene itself is completely imaginary. Such a dense grouping was necessary in order to show as many plants and animals as possible in the stamp pane format. Even so, every species depicted could be encountered in a Hawaiian rain forest, and all of the species and their interactions are appropriate and were recommended by scientists.

A description of the rain forest and a numbered key to the artwork appear on the back of the stamp pane, along with a corresponding list of common and scientific names for 24 selected species.


13 03 2013

Hula teaches you everything about life. It teaches you about nature, respect, and about God.

-Kamalei Sataraka

Art of Hawaiian Quilts

23 01 2013

Image result for Hawaiian quilts

Image result for traditional hawaiian quilts

Image result for Hawaiian quilts


Image result for Hawaiian quilts

2009 Hawaiian Statehood Stamp

10 04 2012

Herb Kane whose images keep Hawaiian history alive

First issued in August 2009 to celebrate 100 years of Hawaiian statehood this stamp was designed by the great Big Island artist Herb Kawainui Kane who died in 2011. Here’s what the postal service said about this stamp he adorned:

“Artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kane, who has dedicated much of his life to studying Hawaiian culture and history, created the painting on the stamp. In the art, a surfer rides a wave on a long board, a popular choice among surfers for centuries. Next to him, two people paddle an outrigger canoe to shore. Kane has extensive knowledge and experience in surfing, a favorite pastime, and in canoe construction, a skill he developed from building a traditional sailing canoe himself.”

Aloha Shirts: Send a Postcard Today!

18 02 2012

Hawaiian Shirt: the 2012 postcard stamps

The US Postal Service has put out some terrific Hawaiian stamps in the past few years and none will bring a smile like this new strip of thirty two cent stamps for postcards.

In this age of emails and texting take a moment to send a sunny postcard to a friend and adorn it with one of these so called Aloha shirts. You will be sending love and aloha to someone’s mailbox where a hand written message is now as rare as a four-leaf clover.

Hikiau Heiau

26 08 2011

Hikiau Heiau- Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii

Hikiau Heiau, located on Kealakekua Bay, in South Kona, was a luakini temple where human and animal blood was used as sacrifice by the Ancient Hawaiians.

Sitting on the south end of the bay, at coordinates 19°28′31″N 155°55′9″W, it is associated with funeral rites. The large platform made of volcanic rock was said to be over 16 feet high, 250 feet long, and 100 feet wide. It has been established to be the first place that Hawaiians have sustained contact with Western outsiders. Cook’s journals claimed there were four villages with eighty houses each with several thousand native Hawaiian villagers when he landed living along the three miles of shoreline.

A plaque commemorates Hawaii’s first Christian funeral conducted by
Captain Cook on January 28, 1779 mere weeks before his own death.

Across the Bay is the Captain Cook Monument that was erected in 1874 to mark the place Captain James Cook was killed on February 14, 1779. It is only accessible by boat but makes for a lovely journey through the clear waters often accompanied by dolphins and colorful fish visible to paddlers.

Kealekekua Bay State Parkis a 4 acre site with access to the water, picnic tables, rest rooms,and parking.

stones of this ancient heiau

Hawaiian Quilting: a Continuing Tradition

17 03 2010

You Are in Our Hearts, by Nancy Lee Chong, (c) Pacific Rim Quilt Company

More Hawaiian Quilts

17 02 2010

One of the younger generation of Native Hawaiian quilters in the Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea Club, Sharon Balai of Waimea, Hawaii, is known for her ability to create innovative and complex patterns. She is also a strong advocate for protecting the cultural rights of ownership of traditional Hwaiian quilt patterns. She explains how this quilt, “Kaumoha Koli’i”, represents and speaks of marriage and was designed specifically to symbolize the union of Hawaii’s cultural past with the introduced materials, ideas, and influence from other cultures. Nothing on or of this quilt is native to Hawaii but for the Hawaiian cultural system that brought in the tradtions and the unique expansive concept of the eightfold process. The pattern of open hearts has a message to all who see it, saying “Na pua o Hawaii aloha” (from the flowers [children] of Hawaii, greetings of love). As is customary in Hawaii, the name also has a second meaning: Kaumoha is a heaviness or burden due to a troubling situation, such as sadness or grief: Koli’i is a disappearing or diminishing, such as water evaporating or a ship sailing off into the horizon. This quilt’s other name, “diminishing burden,” refers to the quilter’s sustained thoughts and feelings while this quilt was in progress.

From To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions

Kapa Pohopoho Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea group

Occasionally the Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea group on the Big Island of Hawaii makes quilts for educational or service organizations. During 1996-97 they made two identical sampler quilts; one was given to Michigan State University Museum, the other the Hamakua Health Center in Honokaa, Hawaii, originally a small medical dispensary serving plantation workers of the now-defunct Hamakua Sugar Company.

The quilt features the following components: sugar cane (in the center), an inner cross of squares depicting flowers that grow well but are not medicinal, an inner cross of squares depicting food items that my be used as medicine, and outer border of squares showing plants used medicinally by some but also used as decorations or food.

Featured in To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions

More photos of Hawaiian Quilts

15 10 2009

Hawaiian quilt makers have long borne special feelings towards their creations. Naming a quilt, is a nuanced affair that can incorporate strictly private symbols or meanings and bear no relationship to the visual pattern of the quilt itself.

Hawaiians were skilled in the creation of tapa, clothing or bedding made from the bark of the wauke or paper mulberry plant. The tapa technique — involving the pounding together of strips of bark to form sheets of different textures, which are then colorfully decorated by pen with various dyes — provided the foundation upon which Hawaiian quilting was eventually built.