I am a teacher and aspiring writer, and keep a blog to keep up with writing and document the daily moments that make up my life. Working with my students & travel writing are my biggest passions. People, art, food, wine/spirits, and culture are other writing interests. Thanks for coming by!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What AuntieTaught Me about Leis

My return to hula class was not disappointing. I was so happy to see Auntie Anuhea and Uncle Don. The hulau is in a new place that is not as big but more cozy. The old place was also a karate dojo studio and class times were conflicting. But the new place is just down the road from the old place and it is perfect for what the hulau needs. Anyway, we spent my first class back learning about leis. Auntie was explaining the significance of ti leaf leis. They are often given for good luck and protection. Often times Hawaiians will leave a ti leaf lei draped over the front and back doors of their houses for protection. Also, the lei maker infuses his or her mana or power into the lei that he or she is making the lei for, therefore, it is considered taboo to give away a lei that has been given to you. Another taboo is to let a lei languish, it should be hung up once it is done being worn. And leis are not supposed to be thrown away. They are meant to be thrown into the ocean once someone is finished with them. Different flowers in a lei all have different significances, and different leis are used for different occasions. I loved learning all of these things. I had no idea that leis had so much significance, and that they were considered so sacred, but I was really grateful to learn these things.
When we were done with the cultural segment of the class on leis, we practiced a couple of songs, the Hukilau, and Little Grass Shack. It was nice to be dancing again, and nice to be back.

No comments: