Haku Lei/Lei Po'o Explained
Photography by Lucie XYZ Photography
Flower crown, haku lei, lei'po'o, haku.. those all describe the crown of flowers that go around your head - the perfect adornment to celebrate special occasions. In Hawaiian, the correct name is "lei po'o" which loosely translates to a garland for the head. Haku describes the braided or woven method of making a lei while another method called wili is a wrapping technique. Both of these techniques are commonly used to make a lei po'o with the wili-style being the most used. Nowadays, with the lei po'o having risen in popularity, people commonly use the words haku lei or haku when referring to the lei po'o.
The traditional method in making a lei po'o generally uses raffia, plant or fiber cordage, leaves, and flowers so they are 100% eco-friendly, compostable and return to the earth without any fuss. Many people when gifted a lei po'o will keep them to dry just like a flower lei as a keepsake.
A lei is made by hand for someone as a gift and so it is always made with care and love; choosing the flowers, greenery, harvesting and the time to make lei is often a time for people to gather, contemplate and sit in serenity while making something beautiful. You can sit on the floor, at a table or on the beach! It is by far one of the most wonderful ways to pass the time!