ʻŌlepe | Keiki Tee - tan
100% Organic cotton | Eco-friendly | Designed in Hawaii | Made in the USA
E like hoʻi me ka hulu o nā manu o ka uka ʻiuʻiu, hana nui nō hoʻi ka loaʻa ʻana mai o ka pūpū makaliʻi o kahakai. He ʻohi lima pākahi ʻia ka ʻōlepe Haumea judii, ka pūpū hoʻi nona nā iwi miʻi i kui papa a kui poepoe ʻia i lei nani e hiehie ai ka pāpale a e māhiehie ai hoʻi ka umauma. Ua nui nō naʻe nā ʻano pūpū a nā kūpuna i kapa aku ai he ʻōlepe. ʻO nei ʻōlepe iwi miʻi nō naʻe paha ka pūpū a Mary Malo i ʻohiʻohi ai ma Waimea, Oʻahu i kona wā kamaliʻi (Ka Leo Hawaiʻi 24.20). Humuhumu akula kona ʻohana i ua mau pūpū nei ma luna o nā kākini a i lei pāpale nō hoʻi no ke kuapo ʻana me kekahi poʻe haole i maka leho nui i ia ʻano pūpū. Noho ka ʻōlepe ma lalo o ke one a wahi a ua ʻo Mary Malo, “ʻAʻole pae mau kēlā pūpū. He manawa wale nō ko lākou e pae mai ai. Ke hoʻomaka mai lākou e pae, nui ʻino kēia pūpū. Aia i ka wā ʻino ā mālia, a pae mai.” Au aku ka manaʻo i kekahi wā ʻino ma ka Moʻolelo ʻo Kamiki (Keauhou 31 Jan 1912) me kekahi ʻōlelo kūamuamu pili ʻōlepe e hene ai paha kou ʻaka, e ka mea heluhelu. ʻO ia ka wā i hea aku ai ʻo Okoe i ka makani a halulu āiwaiwa maila nō me ka haʻihaʻi pū ʻia mai o nā lālā kumu lāʻau. Ia wā nō i pane koke aku ai kona hoa paio, ʻo Makaʻiole, i kahi ʻōlelo hoʻohae ma mua o ko lāua mokomoko ʻana: “E mālama, e Okoe, i kō pāʻū kapu, o nahae i ka niuhi ʻaʻe ʻale o Kākāʻaukī, a kepa ʻia ʻoe a moku - moku ka puka ʻaha pulu niu a kō kumu i aʻo ai, pau ka ʻaha niu i ka mōkalakala a ahuwale ka niu kupanaha o Kahiki, ʻo ka limu līpaheʻe a me ka pūpū ʻōlepe noho i ke ʻale.”
The name ʻōlepe is used to refer to a wide variety of bivalves (sea animals whose hard shell has two sides that hinge open). In ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, these two rigid walls of the animal’s hale (house) are called iwi and these jewels of the seashore were and still are collected for their beauty. Some of the larger species of ʻōlepe were widely gathered as food when bivalve populations were healthier and more abundant. Historian Z. Kepelino described a fully white ʻōlepe with a ridged shell that lived in the sand and was eaten raw. The species that inspired this design are ʻōlepe (Haumea judii and Lioconcha hieroglyphica), panapana puhi (Spondylus nicobaricus), the endemic ʻōlepe ʻauwaha (Vasticardium hawaiiensis), ʻōlepe kupe ʻōpiopio (Ctena bella), and pūpū kupa (Scutarcopagia scobinata). Most of these pūpū are sand dwellers that live at a range of depths. Collectors must know the kai, seasons, and weather in order to know when shells of Haumea judii, a popular type of ʻōlepe for lei-making, might be tossed up on the beach. In former times, this beautiful, scallop-shaped shell was most commonly made into hat bands in the kui papa style (sewn flat on to a backing). In recent years, makers have also started stringing ʻōlepe in the poepoe style (a round or cylindrical shape) to be worn on the umauma (chest), gorgeous adornments that have their own unique beauty. He miʻi mīkohukohu - Attractive in a very becoming way.