Na Lei Makamae: The Treasured Lei

Hardback: $55.99
ISBN-13: 9780824826499
Published: August 2003

Additional Information

200 pages | 254 color illus.
  • About the Book
  • Lei are the very expression of traditional Hawaiian culture and were once an essential part of community and family life. Following in the footsteps of Samuel Kamakau, Abraham Fornander, and others, the authors have collected here a wealth of written and oral information to reveal the significance of making and wearing lei and their role in Hawaiian ritual and dance.

    This volume covers eighty-five flowers and plants (and another dozen color variations) used in traditional lei construction. They are arranged according to their Hawaiian names and accompanied by botanical information and descriptions gleaned from legends and chants that illustrate the cultural uses and special meanings of lei prior to Western contact. Many are introduced by poems written especially for this work by master kumu hula, linguist, and ethnologist Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele.

    The authors present the lei art form in not only words, but also pictures. Lavish color photographs by Jean Coté showcase each plant and lei (shown by itself or worn), as well as places throughout the Islands associated with specific flowers and plants. An appendix includes a complete list of lei plants, basic instructions for their propagation, and other sources for material.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Marie A. McDonald, Author

      Marie A. McDonald, ethnologist, educator, and master lei maker, was recognized as a "Master of Traditional Arts" by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990. Her first book, Ka Lei, remains in print after a quarter century.
    • Paul R. Weissich, Author

      Paul R. Weissich, a licensed landscape architect, was director of Honolulu Botanical Gardens from 1957 to 1989. Since his retirement, he has been active as a consultant and volunteer on numerous landscaping projects. He is coauthor of Plants for Tropical Landscapes: A Gardener's Guide.
    • Jean Cote, Photographer

  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Outstanding
      American Association of School Librarians and the Public Library Association
    • Gorgeous, inspiring
      Honolulu Advertiser
    • A stunning book resulting from 10 years of meticulous research, writing and artistic collaboration
      Honolulu Star-Bulletin
  • Supporting Resources