Master lei maker Kimo Crowell and artisan Ruby Kekahu  will be the featured guests on April 11th  in the classroom at the Storybook Theatre of Hawaii from 4 to 6 P.M.  They will be talking about and demonstrating the making of pua melia (plumeria), la’i (ti leaf), and pua kalaunu (crown flower) lei. They will also demonstrate the making of a maile lei that a lucky person will receive at the end of the class.

Both Kimo and Ruy’s families have lived in west Kauai for many, many generations, since before the time of Capt. Cook.

Kimo learned the definitive art of maile lei making from his father who learned from his father and so on and so forth all the way back to ka wa kahiko (ancient times).  He has made them for the following kumu hula:  Hiwa and Ipolani Vaughan, Manu Boyd, Sonny Ching, Robert Cazimero, Chinky Mahoe, Healani Youn and Maelia Loebenstein-Carter. His lei have been worn at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, the E o E Emalani I Alaka’i Festival, and the Prince Lot Hula Festival.  They have also been worn by Merrie Monarch Judges and by Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominees.

Kimo shares, “In the Hawaiian view, if one is fortunate to acquire knowledge, the one has to do the thing and teach the thing.  I do it because of that and to keep our culture alive”.  And Ruby says, “I have a deep appreciation for our island and what it has to offer and the beauty that it possesses. I like being able to share what we have with others that feel the love from our aina. My gift is meeting sitting and laughing with others enjoying the now”.

Kimo and Ruby’s presentation is made possible by funding to the Storybook Theatre of Hawaii from the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Kukulu Ola – Living Hawaiian Culture Program.  The purpose of the program is to strengthen the relationship between the visitors and the Hawaiian community by presenting experiences and activities that are interesting and educational to people of all walks of life, and supportive of Hawaiian cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians, dancers, and other artists that preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.

The Storybook Theatre of Hawaii is located at 3814 Hanapepe Rd. Hanapepe HI 96816.  For more information about this or other events call Storybook Theatre at (808)335-0712.

Visit the Storybook Theatre’s website at

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