Ho’oulu Hou
Growing Plants and Trees
for Hula Lei
2004 Workshops

Photos by Ambyr Mokiao-Lee

The inaugural workshop series Ho`oulu Hou was a great success and attracted over well over 200 participants. The two workshops were held on August 28 and September 11, 2004. Both the Leeward and Windward Community College venues were booked to capacity. Even people that didn’t attend the workshop came to shop for plants and books, native plant artwork, and to watch the demonstrations. The hau cordage demonstration was a really big hit!

Audience at LCC Auntie Marie McDonald at LCC
Audience at Leeward CC Marie McDonald at LCC

The main objective of these workshops was to educate hula halau members and lei makers of the plight of the native forest and to provide them with information to grow more trees and shrubs in urban landscapes. The speakers shared their diverse knowledge and experiences in growing lei gardens in various climatic areas. The attendees then had the opportunity to purchase the plant materials covered in the workshop presentations and presented in the educational handouts. Kalama Productions videotaped the WCC workshop, parts of which will be included in the television broadcast of the 2005 Merrie Monarch program.

Lei Making demonstration at WCC WCC audience
Lei Making Demonstration at WCC Audience at Windward CC

We had great feedback from the participants asking us for additional workshops on propagation, planting and growing trees for back yard gardens. People are eager to learn more about trees and how to successfully grow them.

A thank you card will be sent to workshop participants along with a post-workshop survey. This survey will provide us information on whether the attendee purchased plants and what they did with the plant.

Project Objectives
• Hula halau members and the general public will become sensitized to the damage to O‘ahu forest systems caused by excessive forest gathering of lei materials.
• Workshop attendees will be introduced to a set of beautiful and culturally important lei trees and plants with explicit instructions about how to grow them easily in the home garden.
• Participants will become aware of additional valuable resources (people and publications) available for further assistance in growing lei trees and plants.

Roxanne Adams and Brian Choy
Kawehi & Jody
Roxanne Adams and Brian Choy Book Sales at WCC

Community Benefits
Participant evaluations indicated a majority 99% of participants were very satisfied with the quality of the presentations and information content. We have received several requests to have this workshop repeated on the neighbor islands (Kona, Hilo, Kauai and Maui), initiated by community organizations and governmental agencies.

In addition, two halau have asked for consultation from NPI for planning and designing mala’ai (dry garden) for their hula halau to grow plants for lei making.


For More Information

Growing Plants for Hawaiian Lei, CTAHR University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai'i, 2002. (guidebook to growing lei plants for home or commercially, including horticultural, cultural and business information). Click here for more information.

Alternatives to Forest Gathering of Plant Materials for Hula Lei Adornment” (Vieth, Cox, Josephson and Hollyer, 1999)


Workshop Sponsors
Native Pathfinders
Atherton Family Foundation
Kaulunani Urban Forestry
Malama Hawaii
UH CTAHR Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management

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