Besides its reputation for stunningly beautiful beaches and vistas, Kauai has an ancient heritage whose remnants are visible through the island. From your Kauai condo you can explore the ingenuity and creativity of the Garden Island's original inhabitants with their hand-built walls, petroglyphs, numerous terraces, temples, stone implements and images. These, the first occupants of the island, were real, live people of Polynesian stock who owed the glory and honor of being the first to cross the vast expanse of ocean to Hawaii. They were the first artists, architects, master-builders and sculptors to leave their creative marks on the islands, especially on Kauai, Nihoa and Necker islands. The Menehune were not restricted to the physical arts, they enjoyed and developed dancing, singing and archery as well. The Menehune's impact on the islands have made them the source of many legends … were they mischievous gnomes, magical mysterious beasts, hard working elves, or perhaps slaves of the newly arrived Tahitians? Their influence lives on in the hearts and minds of many.
The second voyages and settlements from Tahiti, which were led by the great gods and chiefs who became the royalty of Hawaii, brought with them their natural creativity as well. Over generations, they adapted their beliefs and ways of living to accommodate their new island home. As a distinct culture took shape, it grew and evolved in response to Kauai's steep valleys and the Hawaiian Islands' ever changing volcanic lands.
Differences between Kauai and the larger Polynesian family larger more distinct once the era of transpacific migrations ended. In many artistic endeavors – kapa making, feather work and hula – the people of Kauai surpassed the rest of their cousins in skill and proficiency. A highly structured and sophisticated culture blossomed in the Island's gentle climate and lush abundance. Over time, Kauai's society grew as distinct as their endemic plant and animal communities, left for eons in isolation.
Another ancient Kauai tradition which Kauai vacation rentals bring you is the beautiful art of lei making, which has become a symbol of all that is Aloha and Hawaii, is attributed to these people. The wreaths of flowers and foliage worn by both men and women add fragrance and beauty to island life and are a wonderful example of an early Hawaiian art that has lasted for centuries. Lei are much more than flowers sewn upon a strand. There are lei of seeds, shells, feathers, and words. A special song (Mele) composed for a loved one can be a lei. All lei's are an expression of Aloha, and are given to show and express love, joy, sympathy and as greetings and farewells.
Poetically, a child is called a lei, for the child is weaving together the love of their parents and ancestors. It was in 1923 that the Hawaii Territorial Legislature approved Na Lei O Hawaii and officially selected lei to represent each island. Mokihana is the lei of Kauai, which is a slender tree that grows in the upland forests of Kokee and no where else in the world. Although it is a member of the orange family, its fragrance is not citrus. Often described as spicy and somewhat like anise, the lei is made from several strands of seed pods and is often entwined with the leafy vine maile, that has a vanilla, woodsy scent. Unlike the flower leis, the fragrance of the mokihana lei lingers for some time after the wearer has passed by. When it comes to discovering the magical traditions of the Garden Island, let us help you find the Kauai, villas, or home rentals which are perfect for you. Give us a call today!