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Hawaiian Necklace: What They Symbolize & Great Designs

Aloha! Are you ready to learn about the amazing Hawaiian necklace? Whether you’re a fan of traditional styles or modern twists, we’ve got something for everyone in this post!

From colorful beads to intricate carvings, these necklaces are not only beautiful but also steeped in historical and cultural significance. So grab a drink, sit back, and get ready to be wowed by the creativity of Hawaiian necklace designs!

Feature Hawaiian Necklace

Classical Hawaiian Necklace

Lei Niho Palaoa

Classical Hawaiian Necklace - Lei Niho Palaoa
Lei Niho Palaoa, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Lei Niho Palaoa is a traditional Hawaiian necklace made from a whale’s tooth and braided human hair. It symbolizes wealth and status in Hawaiian culture.

The process of creating a Lei Niho Palaoa is very intricate and requires a lot of skill. An artisan will first clean and polish a whale’s tooth and then carve into it with traditional Hawaiian tools. These designs include images of Hawaiian gods and goddesses, representing strength and power.

The twisted braided human hair is a string tied around the tooth. Hawaiians believe their hair will bond themselves with their ancestors.

Due to the scarcity of whale teeth and the cultural significance of the necklace, Lei Niho Palaoa is very expensive and rare.

Hei Matau

Classical Hawaiian Necklace - Hei Matau

The Hei Matau is a traditional Hawaiian necklace with a fish hook pendant, which is said to bring good luck to its wearer. The pendant is usually carved of bone or stone with symbols of power and good luck.

The fish hook pendant of the Hei Matau symbolizes the power of the ocean. Also, it means “catching” good luck and prosperity.

Men in Hawaii like Hei Matau because its unique shape and symbolization of the ocean’s power. Some people will give it as a gift to mark special occasions, such as graduations and weddings, or as a protective talisman for voyagers.

Shell Lei

Classical Hawaiian Necklace - Shell Lei

A Shell Lei is a traditional Hawaiian necklace that stands for love and friendship. The shells used in these lei are often sourced from the ocean and beaches. You can collect shells in different shapes and colors to make this necklace for your friends and lover.

The process of creating a shell lei needs a careful artisan. You need clean, sort, and then string shells in a specific pattern to make the lei. Finally, you should ensure the lei is adjustable for any neck size.

In Hawaiian culture, the different shells used in leis are often associated with specific deities and have spiritual significance. For example, cowrie shells link to the goddess of fertility and prosperity, while conch shells are related to the god of the ocean and sea life.

Kukui Nut Lei

Classical Hawaiian Necklace - Kukui Nut

As its name suggests, the Kukui Nut Lei is a traditional Hawaiian necklace made from the nuts of the kukui tree, which is native to Hawaii.

The Kukui tree is sacred in Hawaiian culture and often connected with enlightenment and spiritual growth. In Hawaii, nuts are a kind of traditional medicine.

Artisans often decorate the kukui nut lei with intricate carvings or designs and paint with natural dyes to give it vibrant colors.

Modern Hawaiian Necklace Brand

Na Hoku

Modern Brand - Na Hoku

Na Hoku is a playful Hawaiian necklace brand that originated in 1924. Many tourists visiting Hawaii will purchase necklaces from this brand.

Na Hoku means “stars” in the Hawaiian language. This brand’s necklaces are infused with a tropical island flair, some unique, some flashy, and some elegant. The designers draw inspiration from their passion for the island, creating astonishing pieces.

Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry

Modern Brand - Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry

Royal Hawaiian Heritage Jewelry is a brand that specializes in creating traditional Hawaiian necklaces. The brand has a high reputation for producing good-quality jewelry crafted with traditional techniques and materials.

They have a team of highly skilled traditional artisans creating beautiful jewelry. Also, they accept custom orders allowing customers to make their own designs.

Lono God of Peace

Modern Brand Lono God of Peace

Lono God of Peace is a Hawaiian jewelry brand founded in 2005. The name Lono comes from the god of peace in the indigenous Hawaiian religion. They have stores in Hawaii and Japan, mainly selling silver jewelry.

Although the brand is relatively new, its level of craftsmanship is quite experienced. They often incorporate traditional, intricate patterns into their modern-style designs. At the same time, as a relatively new brand, they also have strong innovativeness and often make bold attempts with different materials.

Other Hawaiian Jewelry Accessories

In addition to Hawaiian necklace designs, other accessories are also a part of Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian bracelets, earrings, rings, and even watches are also available to help you express your connection to the islands. Here, we will give two classic examples that are fruits of Hawaiian history and culture.

Hawaiian Royal Bracelet

Hawaiian Royal Bracelet

Queen Liliuokalani (1838 - 1917)
Queen Liliuokalani (1838 – 1917)

Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii is the representative figure who first wore the Hawaiian royal bracelet. In 1860, as a princess, she donned a black enamel bracelet inscribed with the Hawaiian language phrase “Hoomanao Mau” (Eternal Memory). After that, this bracelet became a symbol of the royal family.

In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani gifted a gold enamel bracelet to the principal of a Hawaiian women’s school, Mrs. Atkinson. The inscription on the bracelet reads “Aloha Oe” (Love for You) and “Liliuokalani Jan. 5”.

Aloha Oe” is a famous Hawaiian song created by Princess Liliuokalani in 1878. Mrs. Atkinson, as an active socialite and coordinator for the queen at the time, was the model for many young girls at that time. These young girls requested their mothers to engrave their names on similar bracelets to show their admiration for Mrs. Atkinson. This is how the Hawaiian royal bracelet became the Hawaiian Heirloom bracelet from that on.

Hawaiian Ankle Chain

Ankle Chain

The women of paradise Hawaii have a unique touch on their feet due to the ankle chains. From streets to beaches, ankle chains have become a highlight of Hawaiian ladies, shining among the wandering crowd.

Why are Hawaiian women so fond of ankle chains? The legend is that if you give an ankle chain to your lover, you will find each other again in the next life. Early Hawaiians wore short chains made of flowers and plants around their ankle, wishing that they could be with their loved ones forever. After decades, this idea becomes the ancestor of popular ankle jewelry designs.

Until now, the styles of Hawaiian ankle chains have become countless: a smooth surface, hollow, engraved, and hanging pendants like a necklace, the shape of a lock, a key, hearts, and various animal shapes linked together… Beauty can be embedded in any part of your foot, from ankle to toe.

Final Words

Well, that’s a wrap, folks! 

These stunning Hawaiian necklaces symbolize wealth, love, friendship, and many best wishes for their wearers. They are also a way to connect with Hawaii’s rich culture and natural beauty.

Through this magical journey, we bet you have found something special for yourself! So, don’t hesitate and add one of these beautiful pieces to your fancy jewelry collection. Mahalo for reading!

If you want more fashion ideas about Hawaii, welcome to our post “Amazing Hawaii Style Dresses & Food: Everything You Need Know”. Feel free to leave a comment if you like ~ We are always here to exchange brilliant thoughts!

Have a good day

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