Second Annual Kauluwehi Lei Contest Held in May

March 2, 2015, 1:05 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:33 PM
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The Second Annual Kauluwehi Lei Contest will be held from May 1 through May 8. Both amateurs and professional lei artists are invited to demonstrate their skills in lei making and submit their art to the juried lei contest.

An opening ceremony, which includes an award ceremony and exhibition celebrating native plant species, Hawaiian culture, and sustainable picking practices on the Big Island, will be held on May 1 at Wailoa Center between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. and the leis will be display until May 8. The event will also feature live music, refreshments, and keiki and adult crafts.

Three main categories will be judged: traditional style lei, kahiko; contemporary lei, ‘auana; and feather lei, lei hulu.

Several subcategories will be judged under the traditional style category, where each will showcase a different material such as leaves, flowers, fruit, or seeds.


Moving away from the traditional style of lei, the contemporary lei category will use recycled materials, synthetic materials, and exotic plant materials. These leis will be judged based on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material, and the complexity and effort applied.


Those interested in participating should submit leis between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo.

All entries must be accompanied by an entry form and a $5 fee per lei entered.

Contest rules, including information on how to enter and entry forms, can be found at the DLNR website or by contacting Anya Tagawa, outreach and education specialist of the DLNR Hawai’i Island NARS, at [email protected] or (808) 443-4245.


Sponsors of the event include the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawai’i Island Natural Area Reserves Program, the Three Mountain Alliance, and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center.

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