I like to go to Talk Story events. The ones I like to go to are local Hawaiian people that are talking about their craft, how it is made in the traditional manner and about their life. I went to one today at The Hui was Kelei Kanahele. He was born and raised on the island of Niihau. Starting at age 5, he learned to make Niihau shell lei from his grandma and grandpaand completed his first 36 pikake lei at twelve years old. He is a master Niihau shell lei designer and has traveled around Hawaii, the continental United States, and Japan to teach workshops.
These necklaces can be hundreds of dollars, are investments and treasured by the owner. I could go on and one about Kelei and Niihau shell lei. He spoke of his childhood, fining the shells and life on the island.
But he said something that was very interesting. It was about how while he is making a lei and after he has given it to someone or someone has purchased it, the lei seems to know him when meeting again. “Oh there you are”
That is what I hope for when I finish one of my pieces. That it goes to a good home but if I get to see it again, and it will send me a private message. “Oh, there you are!”
Thanks for Listening.