Hawaiian jewelry: The legacy of the Hawaiian braceletOctober 25, 2015
When visitors are traveling to Hawaii they think of gorgeous weather, swaying palms, garlands of orchid leis worn around their necks and swimming in the warm waters of the Pacific. I can verify that as a resident for over ten years, living on the Islands is so much more. It is divine in every sense of the word. And I am reminded of it every time I see my Hawaiian jewelry.
My life in Hawaii
As a young wife and mother, island living fit my persona to a “t.” I loved my life completely; so much so I would have been content to be island bound (the expression used for those that never leave the Island.) I lived in Honolulu, a multi cultural community of one million people; went Island hopping whenever I choose, saw Diamond Head Mountain outside my window, walked each morning four miles along the sea, orchids filled our home and I never had to wear pantyhose!
I arrived in Honolulu a “Malihini,” a newcomer, and left a “Kimanua,” a person who lived on the Island for at least seven years. I knew several words and sayings. I said “Mahalo,” thank you; “Aloha,” hello/good-bye, “Aloha Au Ia ʻOe,” I love you; “Pau,” I am done; “Mele Kalikimaka,” Merry Christmas; “Ali,” when I spoke about Hawaiian royalty; “Kahuna,” a Hawaiian priest (who remarried my husband and I along the Sea on the Island of Kona). I never wore a Muumuu but my Hawaiian bracelets never left my wrists!
The story of my Hawaiian jewelry
In 1887, in London, England, two Queens and a princess met; Queen Victoria of England, and Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani of Honolulu, Hawaii. The queen and Princess were invited to attend Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. At the Jubilee they were gifted with solid gold bracelets, with their names cut out in Old English Lettering; filled with black enamel. The two women were as enraptured as I was 100 years later!
They loved their unique so much that gifts that Upon their return to Honolulu the Queen declared the bracelets to be worn by other royaltys, in order to set them apart from the rest of society.
The legacy of Hawaiian Jewelry lives on today stronger than ever. Shops specializing in earrings, rings, necklaces and other items are an industry! But the bracelet is the benchmark. They are given to celebrate graduations, weddings, anniversaries and life milestones. They become heirlooms and are passed on from one generation to the next. To own my bracelets is like owning a piece of Hawaii.
I have four, each given to me by people who love me. My gold bracelets have carvings of Hawaiian flowers and leaves and a saying written in Hawaiian black enamel. Most bracelet owners have their names carved in English or Hawaiian. I am sentimental and prefer sayings in carved into mine.
My Hawaiian jewelry sends sentimental feelings through me. Each time I pick up a special “I love you piece” from my husband, children and grandchildren I have an emotionally happy flashback. I am sure you do too, darlings.
My Hawaiian bracelets are at the top of my list. They speak to me so, with their beauty, their carved gold drawings of flowers and the Hawaiian Islands, and a message from a loved one to gaze at on my wrist. Each of my bracelets is engraved on the inside the date and gift giver. My bracelets say the following.
- A flower not common
- I love you eternally.
- Hawaii calls you
For those of you darlings who may travel to the Islands and want to bring back a memory, treat yourself to a Hawaiian bracelet. If one of your children has a graduation or a birthday there is no finer treasure from a mother or a grandmother then the gift of a Hawaiian bracelet.
For those of you darlings who are not going to Hawaii you can always….shop online here!!!
I am grateful to Queen Victoria for inviting Queen Kapiolani to London over 100 years ago, and for gifting her with bracelets. I am grateful to Queen Kapiolani for her great taste! And, I am grateful to those who love me for gifting me my precious Hawaiian bracelets.
Do something GOOD today, buy Hawaiian jewelry for a loved one.
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