Why the Lei Tradition?

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Why and how did the Lei tradition of the Hawaiians start?

-- Daphne R Williams (drw1200@webtv.net), January 15, 1999


Hiiaka, Pele's younger sister was the goddess of mercy and protection and is most associated with leis since that is what they symbolize. Leis were given to ali'i (royalty) as a sign of affection and when two warring chiefs settled their differences, they wove a lei which meant an end to the hostilities with this circle of peace. In modern times, leis are given to people arriving and leaving the islands, marriages, funerals, graduations, promotions, birthdays or any ceremony or celebration.

-- Priscilla Logan (gorillagrandma@nuuanu.com), January 15, 1999.

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