Monday, March 4, 2013

Native Intelligence - Where to find real Hawaiian items


Native Intelligence is a thoughtfully run retail store in Wailuku.
The store sells traditional Hawaiian items and promotes Hawaiian culture. This store is a real treasure because you'll find items that are authentically Hawaiian and are well-made. They are not cheap tourist souvenirs. Native Intelligence also stocks an excellent assortment of Hawaiiana books.



These native Hawaiian plants are for sale in the store window.
I think Native Intelligence also has a good selection of books. 
Native Intelligence offers a variety of Hawaiian leis, flower or leaf garlands. This lei is made from twisted ti leaf and kauna'oa, a yellowish stringy plant that grows along some beaches.

A refrigerated case with a variety of leis, including pikake (tuberose), and what looks like stephanotis and crown flower, among others. Many stores (even Wal-mart and Kmart) have lei cases at the front of the store,
but most leis are made of ti leaf or plumeria, which are more available.
Native Intelligence has a much wider selection than most other places on Maui. I think they also have maile leis too, which are very prized.
Lauhala items made from the hala tree.
Read  here for an earlier post about the hala tree.
You can also buy coils of lauhala strips to weave yourself!
This is easier than gathering and preparing one's own. 

Ipu or Hawaiian gourds used in traditional Hawaiian music,
including the music for hula.
Also, some large bowls - maybe of prized koa wood,
or monkeypod wood, which is more common.  

A closer view of intricate lauahala weaving, used to make these bags.
The darker strips have been dyed. 

A kulolo stand by the entrance of Native Intelligence. Picture is a bit blurry. This photo was taken on First Friday in Wailuku,
a town party held the first Friday of each month.
Kulolo is a Hawaiian sweet made with taro, sugar and coconut milk.
Some people refer to it as a pudding, but it's pretty solid.
It's not sold in many places on island.


Location: 1980 Main Street, #2, Wailuku
Hours: M-F 10-5 pm, Sat 10-4, closed Sundays
Phone: 808.249.2421
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