Monday, 19 May 2014

Learning about Hawaii--Orchid Lei and Hula lessons

Our family planned a trip to Hawaii and have just returned after spending a wonderful week in Paradise!  My husband and I have been twice before but this was the first visit for the children and they were so excited top finally be able to see the island.  Prior to going we did a small unit study on Hawaii by reading a few books and learning about our 50th state.  I was quite shocked to learn how Hawaii was annex into the states as it was basically stolen from the Hawaiian people.  I now understand the small movement in Hawaii that is wanting to be free of the the United States.  Between the missionaries and the big five corporations that almost wipe out many of the customs and stole the land of the native Hawaiian people it is not at all surprising that many native Hawaiians find themselves angry and upset at the mainland.

We are a family of planners and organizers so while we were there mostly for fun and relaxation I did throw in a few learning experiences for us all to enjoy and will be posting about them in the next several posts.  When we studying a location at home we often include learning about a important person, place, craft, and have a dinner that represents the country we are studying, since we were able to actually go to Hawaii, we got to see and experience many things directly which made learning all the more fun for us.

We stayed at a resort and we were able to participate in many free resort activities and I will post about two of the things we did.  One was making a Orchid Lei and the other was taking Hula lessons, even Daddy joined in with us:)

I was very surprised to find out we were making the lei's out of real orchids!
We were told it take about 50-60 Orchid flowers to make a single Lei.  It is very easy to make and we were told any flower will work so if you have a large enough garden with 50 or 60 flowers you can make your very own lei at home.

First thing to do is remove the flower stem

flower with stem removed

Next take a needle with thread and go directly threw the middle of the orchid and pull through

Pretty simple

We were told that you can also add leaves and other items to your lei to decorate as you wish 

Once the lei it at the desired length simple tie the ends together

and place around your neck:)

The lei's lasted about 4 days before falling apart but we enjoyed wearing them for a few days:)
We learned about the traditions of the Hawaiian Lei's and even found out there are a couple of do's and don'ts when accepting and wearing a Lei.  If you want to read more visit this site:)

 Next we took an introduction course into Hula Lessons.  We learned the four basic steps for traditional hula dancings.

Once again this activity was free and held on the resort.

I thought my husband was very brave to join in considering he was the only male that did, most husbands/boyfriends stood off to the side to watch the ladies:) and take pictures.
Even MarioFan joined in for a little bit before tiring out:)

Hula dancing was almost wiped out by early missionaries to the island as it was thought to be vulgar and distasteful :(  While on the island we saw several different types of dancing from all the pacific islands.


  1. Looks like loads of fun! I can't imagine picking that many orchid flowers though. I have enough trouble keeping an orchid alive for any length of time.

  2. I will enjoy reading your posts on Hawaii. I doubt I will get a trip there; but I would love it if we could. We are getting to the retirement stage so we have to be more thrifty. I loved that you could actually make the Lei. I learned how to hula when I was a little girl; but I would probably not do too well at it now. I loved this one.
    Blessings to you all!