Kamehameha lei sewing tradition continues despite flower shortag - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kamehameha lei sewing tradition continues despite flower shortage

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When it comes to sewing the perfect lei, it's less about the flowers, thread or needle.

"The secret is in your love for doing it," said Pauline Namuo.

For more than three decades, the women of Ahahui Kaahumanu have bonded by honoring their heritage. They take plumeria flowers that grew on trees across Oahu and create spectacular works of art.

"I don't think words can really describe the privilege to be part of tradition that so many others before us cared that much to keep it going."Leilani Kahoano

Work began at 6:30 a.m. Friday morning, and it wasn't long before busy hands had strung most of the flowers.

"This is very unusual," said Namuo.

Word got out about the shortage and donations starting coming in. This year's lei may not be as long, but more than ever it embodies the spirit of community.

"Lei in our old Hawaiian times meant to be loved. To be given a lei especially one made by the hands of a person that loves you that was really a treasure," said Kahoano.

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