HONOLULU (KHON2) – We all make use of our island roadways, but how many of us pay attention to their given names?

Did you know you could learn more about Hawaiʻi if you did?

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Our weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various streets across the island chain so we can dig into those names, and in turn, learn something new. 

This week, since it’s the season to give a lei, we highlight a street that teaches us how to make our own. In the ahupuaʻa of Hanakaʻōʻō, which lies in the moku of Lāhainā on the island of Maui, stands a short street named after a popular style of making lei

We are talking about Kui Place.

The Hawaiian word kui means “needle,” but also refers to the style of lei that is made by stringing flowers together with a needle.

After purchasing the appropriate string and a needle from a craft store, all you’ll need to make your own lei is flowers.

For the popular plumeria lei, pick about 55 flowers for a standard length. 

To prepare your string, grab the end and stretch out your arm, measuring to about the middle of your chest. Then, double the length of the string, cut it, fold it in half and tie both loose-ends into a knot, leaving about two inches from the top. 

Once the folded end is secured in the lei needle, start to add flowers to the needle until full, poking the needle through the middle of the flower and its stem.

Then, since the flowers are easily damaged, pull each flower one-by-one to the knotted end of the string. Making sure there is no extra space between each flower, continue the process until all are strung.

Be sure to leave a couple inches of string at the end because the last step is to tie both ends of the string together. Once tied, cut off the excess string, and you’ll have yourself a very inexpensive lei that you made yourself.

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When referring to the plumeria lei you made in Hawaiian language, you say “lei pua melia.”

Did you know? Now you do!