Hana Noʻeau – Arts and Crafts Celebrated at the Merrie Monarch

April 4, 2013, 6:57 PM HST
* Updated April 15, 4:15 PM
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Malihini (visitors) and kamaʻaina (locals) alike enjoy the Annual Merrie Monarch Arts and Craft Fair at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo.

It has grown so much that you will also find arts and crafts in the adjacent Butler Building.

Artisans from all over Hawaiʻi and abroad bring their Hawaiian crafts to showcase at this event.

Dean Kaahanui of Waimea brought a variety of his carvings including hairpicks, necklaces and earrings. It is a special moment for Kaahanui as his kumu or teacher Eriki Marchand of Tahiti is visiting as well.

Eriki Marchand and Dean Kaʻahanui. Photo by: Kaʻea Lyons

Eriki Marchand and Dean Kaʻahanui. Photo by: Kaʻea Lyons

A carver by trade, Kaahanui’s artwork is breathtaking. Mentored by master carver Joseph Kimitete of Tahiti, his traditions were also passed down to his late son Peirre “Papa” Kimitete of the ʻohana Kimitete in Kona which carries the torch of paddling today with Kai ʻEhitu outrigger paddling team.


Another favorite every year is Wahine Toa of Kona. Nita Pilago, founder and artist of the popular clothes line, sells out time and time again at this craft fair. This year, she and her team continue to do their best to meet the needs of shoppers. A system has been created to let a handful of customers in at a time to shop and then proceed to check out while the next in line is ready to enter.


You can find everything with Wahine Toa, aloha shirts for men up to size 6x and tops and dresses for keiki and women too!

From the island of Kauaʻi via Niʻihau, the ʻohana Kanahele brings authentic Niʻihau jewelry to this yearʻs craft fair. All pūpū or shells gathered by the ʻohana are created into master showcased pieces.

Because these special shells are gathered on the sacred island of Niʻihau, the hours of gathering are endless. This year you will find a variety of pūpū from pīkake to kahelelani lei and earrings for both men and women.


Many other craft fairs are happening  around Hilo town as well including at the Prince Kūhio Plaza, Sangha Hall, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and Hilo Lanes.

The Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Arts and Crafts Fair at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium will be open Friday from 8:30 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:30 to 4 p.m.

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