Niihau gets cultural spotlight

LIHUE — Niihau shell lei will be showcased Saturday during Na Ohana o Niihau, celebrating Niihau Day at the Kauai Museum.

Lyah Kama-Drake, Kauai Museum education outreach director, said the event will feature Mama Ane Kanahele, a Kauai Museum Living Treasure, who will be presenting a day of music, primarily himene in the unique musical styling of Niihau, hula, and talk story about growing up and living on Niihau.

Kanahele will have her family on hand from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Niihau shell always becomes the topic of conversation during discussions of Niihau, and Kama-Drake said the Kanahele ohana will have Niihau shell lei, bracelets, and other works of art on sale.

Tables will be set up where visitors can learn how to make the coveted shell lei and jewelry. There will be a charge to participate in this activity.

Niihau shell jewelry, a handcrafted item, will also need attention as it ages over time.

During the Niihau Day event, special tables will be set up where people can have their Niihau shell pieces repaired or appraised.

There is no admission charge for Kauai residents.

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