Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Making a ti leaf lei

{I love this Hawaiian motto. It said to have been uttered by King Kamehameha III when sovereignty was again restored to the island nation, after Queen Victoria's troops had occupied it for 5 months. See? I remember some Hawaiian history! You know what else I remembered how to do? Make LEIS!}

{Ti leaf leis are for good luck. Tradition states that you should never wear the lei if you are going to give it to someone else. Oh, and pregnant aunties are always to wear an open lei. 
I remember the smell of my mom making ti leaf leis...and how sometimes they'd be slimy after taking them out of the freezer. It's been at least 18 years since I made one, but it came back to be pretty quick--with the help of my mom --the master lei-maker--on the phone.}

{After gathering your leaves cut the middle rib out.}

 {Then get some water near to boiling, and stick your leaves in there until they're limp and not crunchy---less than a minute. Take them out with tongs, or chopsticks, and place them someplace to cool off--like a colander, or a plate.}

{Take two leaves and tie a knot, and loop it around your big toe! This is how I remember being taught, but I guess you could stick it under a heavy book, or a table leg--trust me, toes are more fun}

{Both leaves get turned to the RIGHT, and you cross them over the LEFT--you're making a rope. Incorporate new leaves by twisting them into the rope, you can even leave the new leaves a little room to poke out before you start twisting away-- and add some dimension to the lei.  When you're done, tie a knot!}

{So, I'm "hapa" now, right guys? Ha ha, I'm kidding! }


Randomanda said...

cool! i want one! :D

Kaje said...

I wonder if there's a way that I could ship you one of my own...they're very strict about what you can send in the mail--We don't want to take down the entire agricultural world with the wrong hitchhiking bug.