Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by cjg1
  • Local Customs
    by cjg1
  • Local Customs
    by cjg1

Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

  • Sacred Sites

    Kailua-Kona Local Customs

    Just to the north of St. Peter's Catholic Church on Ali'i Drive, this altar stands as a temple solely to the art of surfing. Here, offerings were made asking for gnarly surfing conditions. Even today, offerings are left, though now it is left by locals of all social standings. Long ago, surfing was a sport only for the royalty. Commoners caught...

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  • Hawaiian Shirts

    Hilo Local Customs

    I don't think this picture has much to do with cultural tips, ha,ha.... But I liked it, and had to put it somewhere... ;-)) At least it is in the right City ;-)) .... We did stop at this store, in Hilo to do a bit of shopping.

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  • Thurston Lava Tube

    Volcano Local Customs

    Not a cultural tip, just needed more space to show more...... This Lava tube is enormous, and although there is lighting, it helps if you have a torch. Otherwise it's difficult to see the puddles of water.

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  • Lava Grafitti

    Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

    The Big Island is Hawaii's place for Big Drives, so it's nice to be entertained by lava graffiti. Don't worry -- there is no paint involved. Rather, people gather up white coral stones on the beach and take them to roadside lava deposits where they write words and draw pictures. The white stands out well against the dark black lava, creating the...

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  • Hawaiian Dance

    Kailua-Kona Local Customs

    This pic was taken on my last night here. Sonja danced her Beautiful Traditional Hawaiian Dance, before the 'Hot Lava' Show began. She then wrapped her gorgeous 'Fresh Plumeria Lei' around me. She puts a lot of love into making her own Leis, and I was honoured to wear it ;-) ....... One very important tip, You must wear flowers in your hair Girls...

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  • Tourist Booths

    Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

    When giving a lei in Hawaii it is tradition to accompany the gift with a kiss on the cheek. The wearer will be the center of attention and it is said that you will exprience good luck by passing your lei on to someone else.

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  • Kilauea

    Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

    I want to tell you a story about Madame Pele. She is the Goddess of fire who makes her home in the Kilauea Crater. When angry she vents it by spitting fire and lava, thus creating the Hawaiian Islands. Wow, thats one peeved chick! She is able to take human form and usually appears before an eruption as either a beautiful young woman or as an old...

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  • Water Sports

    Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

    The outrigger canoe is the traditional boat of Hawai'i and is still quite popular. On the shores of Hilo bay you find many canoe club 'sheds' full of various length canoes. You'll also find a few on the Kona side too. Kona resident and fellow VTer, enigma58, was kind enough to let me take her one person canoe out on Keauhou Bay. As you can see from...

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  • Humuhumunukunukuapua`a : Try Saying...

    Humuhumunukunukuapua`a is the name of the State Fish of Hawaii. Just try saying it without getting tonge tied. This fish makes the coral reefs of the Hawaiian island its home. The fish has multiple colorings blue, green, black and yellow across its body. Look out for them when you snorkel or scuba...you just might get a glimpse.

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  • Macadamia Nuts

    Macadamia nuts are very popular in Hawaai and are used in a a variety of foods as main ingredients and well as garnishes. Macadamia Nut candy and nuts are a popular souvenir item on the islands; sold whole or in chocolate coverings.. I like the nuts crushed and used as a crust on local fish; which is very good. My wife on the other hand can't eat...

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  • Kukui Necklaces

    The Kukui nut lei is made from the Kukui Nut Tree.The Kukui Nut Tree is also known as the Candlenut Tree and in ancient Hawai’i the nuts were burned to provide light and the oil also has many cooking and medicinal uses. The nuts are used also in necklaces (leis) and bracelets. The colors of the nuts can be black, brown or white and often painted...

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  • Farmers Markets

    I love browsing through Hawaii's Farmers Markets. You can find the sweetest bananas, beautifully crafted jewelry, hand crafted soaps, fresh flowers and so much more. The Farmers Market in Kona is located on Alii Drive (cross street Hualalai Road) and open from Wednesday through Sunday 7am-4pm.

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  • Pupu, Poke and Laulau

    Pupu (pronounced poo-poo) Hawaiian for appetizer or relish. Egg rolls, Poke, SPAM Musubi, Teriyaki chicken or beef, Katsu (breaded and fried pork, chicken or beef), barbecued spare ribs, sushi, Portuguese sausage skewers, etc.Poke (pronounced pou-kei) is a raw fish appetizer. Poke in Hawaiian means section, slice or cut. Usually, consists of Ahi...

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  • Hawaiian Treats!

    I hate wasting time on vacation looking for gift and/or souvenirs to bring home. So, I like to browse the internet for ideas before I go and then I know exactly what to pick up if I happen to be in that area. Food is always a great item to bring back and I have found Big Island Candies located in Hilo, HI. It may be a bit pricey but I think the...

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  • Write Words on Lava -- Beats Paint...

    The Big Island is Hawaii's place for Big Drives, so it's nice to be entertained by lava graffiti. Don't worry -- there is no paint involved. Rather, people gather up white coral stones on the beach and take them to roadside lava deposits where they write words and draw pictures. The white stands out well against the dark black lava, creating the...

    more
  • Konane: Ancient Hawaiian Checkers

    If you visit Puuhonua O Honaunau, you will see lots of game stones, where the ali'i of Hawaii would play an ancient hawaiian version of checkers known as konane. The concept is very similar, though only jumping is alllowed. Each player gets 32 pebbles (either white or black, amply available in the nearby sea rocks) that fill in all 64 indentations...

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  • Flip-Flops (Slippers) are Appropriate...

    Everywhere you go in Hawaii, you'll see people of all ages wearing flip-flops, known locally as slippers (or "slippas" if you want to try the local accent). You'll see children wearing them to school and adults wearing them to mid-scale restaurants. They're especially appropriate when visiting friends, as it is Hawaiian custom to take your shoes...

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  • Hawaiian Religion Centers on Pele

    At Helama'uma'u on 20 August, there are native Hawaiian religious celebrations focused on the god Pele, who is rumored to live in the volcano (note, if you steal lava rocks from the National Park, Pele will curse you according to local custom). In recent years, as the Hawaiian cultural identity has surged, there has been a renewed interest in...

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  • Independence for Hawaii?

    About 20% of the state of Hawaii's population is made up of native Hawaiians and an important segment of that group advocates restoring Hawaii to its status as an independent nation. Another portion of this population is fighting for some lands to be returned as ancestral homelands, much like the arrangements Native Americans have on the mainland....

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  • Weather at Kilauea's Summit

    Weather at Kilauea's summit (which is 4000' elevation) can vary and it is best to be prepared for anything. It can be windy and wet or hot and dry.

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  • Geckos are great pest controllers

    Everywhere in the islands these little lizards are found, indoors and out. Made me nervous the first time I saw them, but rest assured they are nature's best pest control.

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  • Graffiti Hawai'ian Style

    One of the most interesting things to see while on the Big Island is the "Island Graffiti" that runs along highway 19 from Kona to Kohala Coast. These are all "written" with white coral and leave a striking image in one's mind with the juxtaposition between the black lava rock and the white coral stones.There are many types of messages left ranging...

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  • Tin Roof and Water Collection

    Hawaiians collect rain water for daily use.When driving around the Big Island, you'll notice tin roofs on buildings. Next to the roof, you'll often see a gutter that channels rain water into a gigantic wooden barrel (or a small water tower) used for collection. The collected water is then used for various purposes. Volcanoes National Park has...

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  • The Hawaiian Language

    The Hawaiian language is beautiful, and soft when spoken. When in Hawaii, it may help to know a couple of words, as many of the people that really know the island use terms like "mauka" and "makai" for directions. Also, the language is really easy, once you get the hang of it, and the locals will like that you are making an attempt.Anyway, here's...

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  • Rest your spirituality

    Here in the US, it's common to find a copy of Gideon's bible in your hotel room. This allows all travelers a chance to continue their spiritual enlightenment, even when away from home. Here in Hilo, other idealogies exist, and it is shared with us. In our room, we found a copy of the Bible as well as a copy of the Teachings of Buddha. You know...

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  • Grafetti Tells All...

    We all know that messages people write in grafetti usually are things close to their hearts and on their minds. At the Boiling Pots, we came across a piece of grafetti that holds a strong message all should hear...

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  • Grafetti Rocks

    As you drive past the miles of black lava fields that stretch further than the imagination, little white rocks pepper the darkness. These rocks, bone white in color, gathered miles away, brought to this barren location and strategically placed into position to tell the innermost desires of thier creators. Who loves who, who was here, who is no...

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  • Buy a hat...or a bracelet....but stop...

    Some of the best time in Hawaii was spent meeting the local people. Besides selling their wares (and it's much cheaper and finer quality we found than buying in a store), if you happen across a fellow, such as the one pictured here, or a gal selling leis or beads, chances are they're bored and willing to talk and tell stories.We got excellent...

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  • Hawaiian Orchid Farm - The tradition ...

    When giving a lei in Hawaii it is tradition to accompany the gift with a kiss on the cheek.The wearer will be the center of attention and it is said that you will exprience good luck by passing your lei on to someone else.

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  • Hawaiian Orchid Farm - Traditional...

    Kaleialoha's Dendrobium orchid leis are exquesitely hand strung and add a traditional Hawaiian aloha to any celebration. They can be in a single color, such as white or purple, a mix of pruple, white and lavender or one of the art shades either alone or in combination with the standard colors. Dendrobium leis look delicate but they are surprisingly...

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  • Hawaiian Orchid Farm - Exotic Hawaiian...

    Orchids take a long time to grow, up to 5 years for cattleyas, from seed to blooming size, but they're worth waiting for as being the most beautiful flower in the world. Since the ideal climate on the Orchid Island, Anthuriums and other exotic Hawaiian tropical flowers are all hand selected from the farm and will give a memorable touch of Hawaii....

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  • Hawaiian Orchid Farm - Nickname is...

    A nickname for the Big Island of Hawaii is Orchid Island. Therefore we decided to visit an orchid farm. We visited a farm located in Puna, the heartbeat of the Big Island where exotic and vibrant tropical flowers enrich the lives of the Ohona (family) from the mountain to the sea. Orchids take a long time to grow, up to 5 years for cattleyas, from...

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  • Hawaiian Luau - Demonstration of bravery...

    The highlight of the evening was the spectacular Drums Of Polynesian Revue. From the Fijian and Maori dances of war to the gracefulness of the Hawaiian Hula dancer's hands. This fabulous group of Polynesians brought us a fun filled evening we won't soon forget. The daring Samoan fire knife dancer highlighted the evening with an astonishing...

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  • Hawaiian Luau - We didn't like all the...

    The pig, sweet potatoes and laulau are placed in the imu and covered with more banana leaves and ti leaves. Usually several wet burlaps bags top this to add steam and keep the heat in. A tarp of some kind is then placed over the whole affair and then the pit is covered with sand. After 6 to 8 hours of this steam-cooking, the kalua pig is...

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  • Hawaiian Luau - Cooking the "imu".

    Preparations for cooking in the "imu" are begun in the early morning of the day of the luau. A large pit is dug in the sand. Kiawe logs are placed in the bottom of the pit and topped with river rocks. A fire is started and a couple of hours the hot coals and hot rocks are ready for the next step. The rocks are evened out on the bottom of the pit...

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  • Hawaiian Luau - How the luau was born.

    In ancient Hawaii men and women ate their meals apart. Commoners and women of all ranks were also forbidden by ancient Hawaiian religion to eat certain delicacies. This all changed in 1819 when King Kamehameha II abolished the traditional religious practices. A feast where the King ate with women was the symbolic act which ended the Hawaiian...

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  • Roadside Buddhist Shrines

    There are close to 100,000 practicing Buddhists in the Hawaiian islands, most the descendents of Japanese and Chinese immigrants. Driving along, you'll occasionally see a roadside shrine made up of devotional jars and bottles which I'm told are full of saki, to please the gods. The stones are also sacred. This shrine is close to the Polulu Valley...

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  • Weddings 'R Us

    As "the destination weddings" have become increasingly popular, the Big Island of Hawaii is turning into "wedding central". That's what brought me here: my Chicago friends Jane and Gerard decided to celebrate their nuptials here. They were married at the Fairmont Orchid Resort, and had one of those "beach at sunset" weddings. With the glorious...

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  • Spam

    The delectable canned meat product is a local favorite. In fact, Hawaii boasts the highest spam consumption per capita of any American state! (I bet you didn't know that.)According to my "Lonely Planet" guidebook, It used to be the various arrangements of spam (i.e. fried spam, spam and eggs, spam casserole) was a staple on virtually every Hawaiian...

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  • Kilauea's Fire Goddess...Madame Pele

    I want to tell you a story about Madame Pele. She is the Goddess of fire who makes her home in the Kilauea Crater. When angry she vents it by spitting fire and lava, thus creating the Hawaiian Islands. Wow, thats one peeved chick! She is able to take human form and usually appears before an eruption as either a beautiful young woman or as an old...

    more
  • Offerings to the Gods

    You might see flowers, leis, and sacred native plants left at certain natural sites around the island, like here at Halema'uma'u Overlook on the southern part of Crater Rim Drive. This is one of the most active volcanic sites in the world, an appropriate place to honor the power of nature. These sites are considered sacred by native Hawaiians, and...

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  • Pele is watching

    Everywhere in your travel around the island, you will see offerings to Pele, the fire goddess. Sometimes it is flowers, art, offering in ti leaves, or a bottle or two of booze.

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  • Say Goodbye

    A special way to say goodbye......Toss your lei into the ocean when you leave Hawaii.If it washes back to shore, you will return someday.I think mine did, I hope it did!

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  • Coral on lava

    The graffitti made out of writing with white coral (arranging the pieces into words) on black lava along the highway near Kona was extremely striking, and something I'd never read about before I went to the Big Island. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures.Mile after mile of peoples' names and messages and designs ....

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  • Drinking kava/ awa

    Kava, or "awa" which is its Hawaiian name, is a traditional herb drink with a relaxing effect made from the roots of the piper methysticum plant. It is used throughout the south pacific both in cremonial rituals and for its many medicinal effects.The Hawaiians took up the tradidtion of drinking Kava again in the mid 90's after it had disapeared...

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Hawaii (Big Island) Local Customs

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