I am writing this blog on Day 3.5 of my trip and realizing that my time here has involved an abundance of flowers. Not only because they are EVERYWHERE here, but also because another part of my internship involves making leis! What a therapeutic activity, I tell ya.
The leis that Elena makes are sold at Nona Loni Cottages where plumerias are prolific! There are 4 different plumeria trees that can be used for lei making. Although the flowers appear to be delicate, they are beautiful and strong (they don’t rip or bruise easily). The ones that we used were the yellow, white, pink and rainbow plumeria.
First thing’s first: The picking. They just snap right off the tree, but if you ever plan on picking a bunch of these flowers, just be aware that they can be very sticky!
Second they need to be washed off. This is to clean off any dirt or bugs that might have been residing in the flowers.
Thirdly is the production process! Threading the flowers together in a certain pattern which has been requested by the buyers. The ones I made are called “vibrant” and “white.” This also involves some ti leaf accent and a few orchids 🙂
The art of lei making supposedly started during a war and the women on the island wanted to get the attention of the soldiers. The women made these flower necklaces and told the soldiers that it was custom for the leis to be delivered with a kiss on the cheek. The tradition lives on, but not just for soldiers! Makin’ leis in Sienna Sky style!