C'est quoi un collier lei hawaïen ?

What is a Hawaiian lei necklace?

The Lei is a necklace of colorful and vibrant flowers that is an iconic symbol of Hawaiian culture. This unique piece of jewelry is handcrafted using a variety of local flowers and foliage , each chosen for its color and symbolic meaning.

Hawaiians believe that wearing a Lei brings luck , prosperity , and protection, and it is often given as a sign of affection, respect, or welcome.

The Lei has become famous around the world because of its beauty , symbolism and deep cultural significance. It is an ideal gift for friends, family or for yourself, to bring back memories of these exotic tropical islands.

The meaning of the lei

Hawaiian leis are colorful wreaths or garlands worn around the neck . They are adorned with fresh tropical flowers , but in a broader interpretation the term can also refer to a series of items strung together in order to be worn.

A lei is presented to a person arriving or departing. So it is a welcome or farewell gift and a way to express aloha. Leis can include tropical flowers , seeds , leaves , vines , feathers , shells , nuts , and even animal bones and teeth .

Hawaiian flower leis were used by ancient inhabitants to enhance their appearance and celebrate Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. They are a symbol of hospitality and affection between two people .

The most common Hawaiian leis feature carnations , ginger flowers , kika flowers, orchids , or jasmine flowers.
The necklaces measure approximately 46 centimeters.

When are Hawaiian necklaces used?

Leis are also used at weddings . Traditionally , Hawaiian brides wear white leis, but they can also include some colorful flowers.

Closed leis should be worn around the neck , extending slightly beyond the shoulders . The recipient should lower their head and let the giver place the flower garland around their neck.

It is extremely rude to refuse a lei from someone, even a stranger. It should be an honor to wear it. Hawaiians use leis on graduation days . When a person leaves school or university, they receive a lei at the graduation ceremony.

What flowers are used to design a lei?

The most popular flowers used for leis are:

  • purple , white and green orchids
  • pink carnations
  • yellow roses .

But there are many types of leis:

  • silver leis
  • penny leis
  • candy leis
  • double leis

These stunning floral ornaments, along with the ukulele , are an enduring symbol of Hawaii and can be used for different purposes on multiple occasions. Since the Hawaiian language does not distinguish between singular and plural, the use of the word "leis" is an anglicized version of the original expression "lei".

Types of necklaces

The most popular lei styles include:


Flowers , leaves or fruits are woven onto three strands of ti or another natural fiber . Haku leis are most often worn around the head or on a hat.


These are leis woven from a single plant material such as ti leaf or maile.


The flowers are sewn onto a plant material such as dried banana leaves (lau hala)


The most familiar leis - flowers strung with thread and needle;
Kipu'u: short lengths of vines or leaves with long stems tied together.


Plant materials are attached to a natural support by wrapping fibers around them. Will's leis don't have knots until the very end.

Lei Hulu (Feather Lei)

Traditionally made from the feathers of now extinct or endangered native birds , the art continues to use the feathers of common birds;

Lei Pupu (shell lei)

These can be Puca shell lei, extremely popular in the 1970s, or museum-quality Ni'ihau shell lei which can be worth several thousand euros.

Seed lei

The simple, single-stranded Job 's Tears and the intricately crafted wiliwili seed lei are famous examples of this type.

Contemporary Lei

From silk and ribbon , to thread, to currency and even candy, contemporary lei are made for all occasions.

Make your own Hawaiian lei

Every year on May 1, Hawaii celebrates Lei Day.

This is a very special opportunity for Hawaiians to make, wear and give leis, and a fantastic opportunity for lei makers to show off their incredible craftsmanship.

But how do you make a fresh Hawaiian lei?

Leis making is an ancient art with complex techniques, but you can learn how to make a simple lei in just a few minutes.

The necessary equipment

All you need are flowers, string, scissors and a long needle:

  1. Thread the flowers : Use a needle and twin thread to thread the flowers through the thickest part of the stem

  2. Insert the previous flower into the next flower

  3. Tie a double knot : tie the ends of the thread with a double knot and cut off the excess thread

  4. Your lei is ready!

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