The traditional Hawaiian practice of weaving hala (pandanus, Pandanus techtorius) has been a cultural force throughout time, from its functional roots in precontact Polynesia to its widespread recognition today as a celebrated visual art form. On March 28th, Bishop Museum will unveil Nani I Ka Hala: Weaving Hawai’i, an original exhibition that addresses the vital need to collect, share, and perpetuate this tradition as part of Hawai’i’s heritage and vibrant living culture.

The beauty and significance of hala is woven throughout our history and throughout this exhibit. In ancient times, the sails of voyaging canoes were plaited of hala, and utilitarian hala baskets and mats were commonplace. The introduction of foreign items that replaced Hawai’i-made mats and baskets encouraged weavers to further their creativity, leading to a distinctive and truly exquisite Hawaiian style of hala hats that are coveted and treasured as fine art.

Come walk through the stories, the beauty, and the wisdom of ulana lau hala in Nani I Ka Hala: Weaving Hawai‘i, on exhibit in the J. M. Long Gallery from March 28 through July 27, 2015.

1:00 p.m. in Hawaiian Hall Portico
Hana Ka Lima, He Apo Aloha: Lau Hala Bracelet Making Workshop
Try your hand at the artistry of lau hala weaving! An experienced weaver will guide you through the art of weaving with pandanus leaf. Take home a beautiful momento of your museum visit. A handmade lau hala bracelet also makes the perfect gift for a loved one at home. (25 minutes)
Cost: $10 per person (materials included)