Motifs Used In Hawaiian Jewelry

November 22, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Hawaii is a well-known tourist destination that leaves everyone who lands on her shores dumbfounded by the exquisite display of nature in all its glory. Whether itís the frothing volcanoes, the vast blue ocean, the luscious tropical fruits, vibrant flowers or endless beaches Ė Hawaii is like natureís museum. One natural wonder on display after another and each more magnificent than its predecessor.

Using Nature As Inspiration

It is hardly any wonder that nature has found its way into various forms of creative expression on the islands including Hawaiian jewelry as can be seen from the jewelry designs on From the earliest inhabitants in the 4th and 5th century, Hawaiian jewelry has been a canvas for nature. The earliest baubles were made of shells, seeds, coral, teeth, whale ivory, bone and bark and featured patterns of various sea creatures. Sea turtles and fish were extremely popular motifs. Another surprising motif that found popularity was that of the canoe. The motifs reflected the isolation of the island life and the high value associated with the canoe. In addition, royalty wore a hook shaped necklace called the lei niho palao made from whale teeth and human hair.

With time, the popularity of motifs depicting nature in all her glory continued to grow. In the 20th century the famous Hawaiian jewelers Mingís and Gumpís both sold jewelry depicting island flowers such as hibiscus, orchids, pikake, birdís of paradise and anthuriums. Guglielmo Cini who designed some of the most popular Gumpís jewelry was best known for his tropical floral motifs.

Today, nature continues to the muse for most artists in Hawaii. Pineapples, palm tress, hibiscus and plumeria flowers, fish, ships, ukuleles, volcanoes, lush tropical fruits and shells find their way on earrings, necklaces, bangles and brooches. Some of the most popular jewelry on features plumeria designs and there is even a complete section dedicated to plumeria rings!

Wedding bands designed to represent the natural native foliage of the hala tree found in Hawaii have also become extremely popular. They have escalated the simple, traditional Hawaiian wedding bands to exotic heirlooms.

Shell Jewelry

Shell jewelry from Hawaii has been around forever. Shell jewelry generally uses no motifs and in fact shells themselves are used as motifs on other materials like gold and silver. Niíihau shell jewelry is extremely famous and sought after.

The Cultural Influence

In addition to nature, Hawaii is steeped in a culture frothing with customs and traditions. The petroglyphs found on the islands reflect this very primitive and spontaneous culture and also are a source of ideas for designers.

All in all, motifs used in Hawaiian jewelry include various things around the islands that represent the warmth of Hawaii; the warmth that is found not just in its beautiful climate but also in the people that reside there. And the best thing about Hawaiian jewelry is that you no longer need to be in Hawaii to select from the latest trendy designs. Websites like My Hawaiian Jewelry ( feature traditional as well as contemporary Hawaiian jewelry of the best quality and with a 100% guarantee. So you can start shopping for your Hawaiian jewelry today!