Haumāna bring Hawaiian connection to life with lei kits

Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

Makainokamana Kimokeo passes out bags of ti leaves in front of Ms. Ching's office as part of their project for Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in Kumu Henoheaʻs Class.

Photo by Kyani Bateman

Makainokamana Kimokeo passes out bags of ti leaves in front of Ms. Ching’s office as part of their project for Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in Kumu Henoheaʻs Class.

Kumu Henohea Kāneʻs hāumana hosted a ti leaf lei-making activity for students and teachers on Thursday in honor of Mahina ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi. 

Makainokamana Kimokeo, Faith Paredes, Angelena Freitas, and Maile Kalama prepared 40 bags of materials for people to make their own lei.

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Only five students signed up prior to the event; however,  Freitas was surprised that they actually gave away around 35 packages.

“I feel [it] is so cool that people who did not sign up saw our flyers and still came and were interested,” she said.

Finished ti leaf bags, prepared by Maile Kalama and Kamana Kimokeo, waiting for the kids to come and pick it up. Each bag has a note and QR code that the students have made themselves.
Finished ti leaf bags, prepared by Maile Kalama and Kamana Kimokeo, waiting for the kids to come and pick it up. Each bag has a note and QR code that the students have made themselves.

February is Hawaiian Language Month and a good opportunity for students to exercise their Hawaiian culture and grow a deeper connection with Hawaiian ethnicity. 

Lei-making is a tradition that connects students to their ancestors.

Lei-making, I feel, is a way to honor others,” Freitas said. 

She said that she enjoyed being able to create an activity that other students could appreciate.

“It was really fun planning it and passing it out to people. They seemed really happy and excited,” she said.

The students who planned it felt the event was  “a huge success,” and Freitas said that they are planning to have another day like this again.

Student Activities Coordinator Ms. Vanessa Ching was one of the staff members to make a lei.

I thought about my kupuna who once sat together creating ti lei for momentous occasions or makana as I made my lei,” she said.

In creating the project, Freitas said that she learned something, too.

Before doing this project I did not really know how to make a ti leaf lei, and it was because I was not taught. Now, because of this project, I learned how,” she said.