Tropical Leaves

Lei Educational Resources

These are online resources about the history of the lei and its significance to Hawaiian culture and traditions from the ancient past to the present day. Click on the links in the titles to learn more about leis and the beautifully unique culture of Hawaii from personal stories and educational perspectives.

I want to continue adding more resources to this page. So far, these are what my dad and I have put together. Please contact me if you have a resource that you would like to contribute. 

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The Tradition of Hawaiian Leis By M. Keala Milles, Jr.

In The Tradition of Hawaiian Leis, Milles gives examples of occasions that leis are used for and explores what it means to give someone a lei. 

“Hawaiian Culture Stories offers stories that celebrate Hawaii's rich cultural heritage—past, present and future.  Our stories share the unique experiences of native Hawaiians, island locals, homesick Hawaiians, and Hawaiians at heart, so we may grow in love and aloha for each other and the communities around us.” -Hawaiian Culture Stories About Us

Kaʻahele Hawaiʻi, “the oldest continuously published Native Hawaiian website on the internet,” writes about the lei as a symbol of Hawaii. Nā Lei o Hawaiʻi – The Lei of Hawaiʻi describes the extended history of the lei, the traditions it is used for, and etiquette and customs around the lei.

"Writing for and about Hawaiʻi since 1993"

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Origins of Lei Making provides information about the very early history of leis and how ancient Hawaiians made different types of leis 

HawaiiHistory.org is an online community learning center “for anyone who wants to learn more about Hawai`i or is interested in contributing to a broader understanding of our island home.”

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Fascone recounts their childhood memories of Lei Day, a celebration of spring in Hawaii held on May 1, to show how Hawaiian history is remembered and celebrated through song and festivities.

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Hawaiian Leis: the Maile Lei By M. Keala Milles, Jr.

Milles describes the significance of the Maile Lei, a traditional lei that ancient Hawaiians used to honor Laka, the goddess of hula.