Posted February 7th, 2006, 03:20 PM
What was your favorite or best purchase in Hawaii? I'm heading to Hawaii in May for my first time. This topic was brought up on the Europe board and it helped me greatly during my Med cruise last October.
Thanks in advance for your replies.
Maui or Big Island wine - just for the conversation value - wine's not all that great - (or the winery tee shirts)
Kona chocolate - recently started making from locally grown cacao - very good
Locally grown vanilla
Local white honey
Arts & Crafts:
locally made jewelry using volcanic glass
any local art that you like - a popular artist who has prints available is Peggy Hopper, there are lots of photographers doing volcano stuff - Brad Lewis is one of the better known ones, Victoria McCormick does lovely sea and landscape work.
anything made from Koa or Milo wood or bowls made from Norfolk Pine
Lauhala weavings - but make sure it is locally made - lots coming in from Southeast Asia and the Phillipines
Baskets made from coconut sheaths - the long bark type stuff from the trunks - very distinctive
Tapa cloth - this was an art form that had pretty much died out, but there has been a revival and there are some gorgeous pieces out there in some of the higher end shops
There are lots of things - from key chains to wall hangings and bronzes - made using the motifs from the petroglyphs, some are very elegant.
Hawaiian quilts are very distinctive and, if hand made here, very expensive. There are machine made knockoffs available, and there are some hand crafted smaller items using the quilt motifs that are readily available. There is also jewelry made in the quilt patterns, and a variety of small items like book marks, thimbles, pot holders, place mats, etc.
Oils, perfumes, etc.
Plumeria is a popular fragrance, as is tuberose (although I find that one pretty overwhelming, personally)
Traditional oils and 'essences', both culinary and medicinal are available - kukui nut, coconut, ginger & noni are traditional - macadamia nut oil, while not traditional, is also available. Thre are a wide variety of products using these - just the straight oil, lotions and salves, soaps and creams, various culinary mixes, etc.
Lavendar is grown on the Big Island and there are a lot of widely available lavendar products from sachets to cooking herb mixes, lotions, bath salts, creams.
One of my favorite items to get while traveling is cds featuring local musicians - slack key guitar instrumentals would be a good choice here. The first Hawaiian music Grammy award went to a slack key album called Kohala. Dancing Cat Records has a lot of good slack key music, and one of my favorite artists is a local guy named John Keawe.
That should get you started, anyway!