Master lei maker Kimo Crowell and artisan Ruby Kekahu will be the featured guests from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today in the classroom at the Storybook Theatre in Hanapepe.
They will be talking about and demonstrating the making of pua melia (plumeria), lai (ti leaf), and pua kalaunu (crown flower) lei. They will also demonstrate the making of a maile lei that someone will receive at the end of the class.
Both Crowell’s and Kekahu’s families have lived in west Kauai for many generations, since before the time of Capt. Cook. Crowell learned the art of maile lei making from his father, who learned from his father and so on all the way back to ka wa kahiko (ancient times).
“In the Hawaiian view, if one is fortunate to acquire knowledge, the one has to do the thing and teach,” Crowell said. “I do it because of that and to keep our culture alive.”
“I have a deep appreciation for our island and what it has to offer and the beauty that it possesses,” Kekahu said. “I like being able to share what we have with others that feel the love from our aina. My gift is meeting, sitting and laughing with others enjoying the now.”
The presentation is made possible by funding to the Storybook Theatre of Hawaii from the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Kukulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program.