Noelani Hawaii is founded on the principles of Aloha—a commitment to being real, open, honest, and humble. Everything that we do here on Oahu’s North Shore, from designing jewelry to hosting healing events, is deeply rooted in Hawaii and its culture.
As a native Hawaiian woman, our founder Noelani garners inspiration from the ‘aina (land) and the kai (ocean). Although she didn’t grow up in the islands, Noelani spent her childhood summers visiting her grandparents here, and has now lived on O’ahu for 15 years.
“Moving to Hawaii from the mainland to reconnect with my native Hawaiian culture is teaching me a lot about the healing aspect of the land,” says Noelani. “Connecting through hula and chanting classes has helped me to explore the mana behind everything and how it’s all connected.”
In native Hawaiian culture, “mana” is a sacred term that refers to the life energy that flows through all humans and all things. Living on an isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, being in tune with the natural world around them was vital for the ancient Hawaiians. They used the art of storytelling to understand and explain this unique and ever-changing landscape. These myths and legends have been passed down through generations, and remain an important part of Hawaiian culture today.
We love sharing the mythology of Hawaiian culture with clients and customers because every parable always contains a valuable learning lesson. And in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked Noelani to share her favorite Hawaiian love story.
“One of my favorite legends is the love story about 'Ohi'a and Lehua,” says Noelani. “They were two lovers who enjoyed exploring nature together. 'Ohi'a would play his musical instrument of the nose flute ('ohe hano ihu) for Lehua, and she would create beautiful leis with the flowers she gathered. They were both artisans in their own way, and they loved to express their creativity through the gifts of nature. They shared a sweet and innocent love. Pele (the volcano goddess) became jealous of their love, and tried to separate them by surrounding them with lava. The lovers turned into the 'ohi'a tree (which is strong and beautiful) and the lehua flower (which is a red blossom that grows on the tree) so that they would never be separated. Their physical human bodies transformed into different forms of nature that live on forever in their forest home.”
This is such a humble and beautiful tale of a love that is everlasting, and we encourage you to read the full story and find your own interpretation of its meaning. As we re-visited the story of ‘Ohi’a and Lehua, we were inspired to share about the meaning behind the names of our jewelry. Just as ‘Ohi’a and Lehua used nature to express their creativity, Noelani uses the natural beauty of Hawaii as inspiration for all of Noelani Hawaii’s designs. Here are a few pieces from our “Self Love Collection” (+ a few of our other favorites) that were inspired by nature:
Pahoa: Pahoa is the name for a zone in the region of Puna, which is where the story of ‘Ohi’a and Lehua takes place.
Pono: Pono means righteous. It's one of the principles of Aloha, to stand righteously for what you believe in. Labradorite is a stone of awakening, and so many people around the world are starting to awaken and stand up for what is right.
Hawi: This necklace also includes labradorite. Hawi is the name of an area on Big Island where King Kamehameha was born.
Ulu: This earring is named after Ulu, a hearty delicious breadfruit that was a staple in the diet of Native Hawaiians.
Paumalu: The name Paumalu comes from another legend about Sunset Beach Oahu, which is where our studio is located.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about the meanings behind our jewelry designs and the importance in keeping connected to the Hawaiian culture in all that we do. Head to our website to explore other pieces and to shop our “Self Love Collection” to get 14% off from now until Valentine’s Day!