Friday, March 19, 2010
This is the fruit of a hala tree at the Place of Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii. The fruit looks like a pineapple but it's not. The leaves are the part of the tree that is most well-known. These are the leaves that are used to weave everything from bracelets to mats to hats and more. This kind of weaving is called lauhala. It has been practiced from ancient times and today there is even a Lauhala Weaving Conference on the Big Island where you can learn to weave everything from a beginner bracelet to an intricate hat. There is a great reference online that tells you about the tree, how to prepare the leaves and how to do the actual weaving.
The tree itself is unusual because it has aerial roots that spring out of the trunk and go down to the ground making like a fort around the trunk. It's so different it's hard to miss.
For more information about the Place of Refuge, which is now a national park, you can click here.
Posted by Kathy at 9:41 PM