USA

SHIBUI Issue - - CONTENTS -

Art of Aloha.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

I live on the is­land of Oahu in Kailua, Hawaii, USA.

IS THIS WHERE YOU WERE BORN? IF NOT, WHAT IS YOUR ORI­GIN?

I am from a small is­land called Moloka’i, Hawaii (nick­named ‘The Friendly Isle’).

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DE­CIDE ON FLOWER AND LEI ARTISTRY?

I grew up watch­ing my mom make leis and it was a nat­u­ral thing for me to learn. My mother is an amaz­ing lei artist too.

WHAT IN­SPIRED YOU TO CRE­ATE YOUR FIRST LEI?

For me it is my love of na­ture and the Hawai­ian Aina (lands). There is so much beauty that sur­rounds us, it was nat­u­ral for me to be in­spired by na­ture and the vi­brant colours of Hawaii.

LOVE IS AT THE HEART OF POLY­NE­SIAN TRA­DI­TIONS, BUT WHAT CON­NECTS THE PA­CIFIC IS­LANDS ACROSS THE OCEAN SO BEAU­TI­FULLY, IS THE FLOWER CHAIN OF THE ‘LEI’. FLO­RAL AND LEI ARTIST PAMAKANE LEHUA PICO SHARES THE ALOHA SPIRIT WITH US.

IS THIS A TRA­DI­TIONAL CRAFT THROUGH­OUT POLYNESIA, OR HAWAII? WHERE DOES IT ORIG­I­NATE?

Yes it is. I am a mix­ture of Poly­ne­sian cul­tures: Hawai­ian, Samoan and Tahi­tian. These are my ‘Poly roots’, so I feel that my style is a com­bi­na­tion of all the cul­tures.

WHERE OR WHO DO YOU DRAW YOUR CRE­ATIVE IN­SPI­RA­TION FROM?

Mother Na­ture.

IT’S A BEAU­TI­FUL ART FORM. WHAT MAKES IT SPE­CIAL TO YOU, AND YOUR CLIENTS?

I feel that it’s a con­nec­tion with our na­tive land and cul­ture that our leis have. When some­one sees my leis they au­to­mat­i­cally see Hawaii in them, and the beau­ti­ful colours and ex­otic­ness of the leis draw peo­ple to them nat­u­rally.

WHAT DOES THE LEI SYM­BOL­ISE TO YOU AND YOUR CUL­TURE?

The lei sym­bol­ises the Aloha spirit – the love that we have for the land and our cul­ture. Each flower is wo­ven care­fully into a lei like a ‘mele’ (song) and rep­re­sents the Aloha spirit, as well as the love we put into each lei. It’s very spe­cial to re­ceive a lei, be­cause it comes from the heart.

WHEN IS IT AP­PRO­PRI­ATE TO WEAR A LEI? ie. CEL­E­BRA­TION ONLY?

I prac­ti­cally wear a lei ev­ery­day. There is no rule to wear­ing a lei, just that you love it and ap­pre­ci­ate where it comes from.

WHERE DO YOU GATHER YOUR FLOW­ERS? ARE THEY LO­CALLY GROWN (NA­TIVE)?

I try to use as many lo­cally grown flow­ers as pos­si­ble. I grow my own flow­ers to use as well.

HOW DOES A TRAV­ELLER LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR CRAFT?

We have a weekly class at the Four Sea­sons Re­sort at Koolina, ev­ery Thurs­day at 10-1pm. You can learn the art of lei Po’o mak­ing.

TELL US A LIT­TLE ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE AR­TI­SAN CUL­TURE OR TRA­DI­TION?

I love all of the Poly­ne­sian cul­tures. Each re­gion has a dif­fer­ent style but all are sim­i­lar with the tra­di­tion of leis.

DO YOU HAVE A MEM­O­RABLE, TRAVELBASED EX­PE­RI­ENCE TO SHARE?

I just got back from a five-week travel ven­ture around Europe and it was amaz­ing! The best thing was that we left our plans open as we went and it worked out so well. We went to eight coun­tries and 17 cities in five weeks! My favourite mo­ment was an Ice­landic sun­set. It was the most amaz­ing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s on my In­sta­gram ac­count.

IF YOU COULD BE WORK­ING ANY­WHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

There is noth­ing like home and I am so blessed to be able to work where I do. But, if I could pick some­where else I would say Switzer­land. I was there re­cently and it was so amaz­ing. Flow­ers were grow­ing all over the place, which was a dream for me. It is so beau­ti­ful there.

WHERE DO WE FIND YOU?

We have a stu­dio in Kailua but it is not open to the pub­lic. We do or­ders only. We have a Hibis­cus Tub that can be rented out for spe­cial oc­ca­sions too.

HOW DOES CUL­TURE, ART OR TRAVEL MAKE YOU FEEL?

Cul­ture, art and travel make me feel alive.

“THE EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOW­ERS.” PAMAKANE LEHUA PICO

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT Poly­ne­sian flo­ral tra­di­tions are cel­e­brated at ev­ery age; Flo­ral and lei artist Pamakane Lehua Pico out­side her stu­dio.

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