Craft Meets Culture at the New Royal Room at Waikiki Beach Walk
Few things epitomize Oahu and Waikiki style more than boarders riding waves onto the shores of pristine white-sand beaches. Hawaiians view surfing as an art form and a way of expressing the color and uniqueness of the islands. And you can explore beyond the surf and dive deeper into the culture, traditional arts and musical heritage of Hawaii at The Royal Room at Waikiki Beach Walk.
Delve into the artistic legacy of the Monarchy era, or experience the Golden Age of the islands’ music., or enjoy a host of interactive exhibits and workshops take you on a journey through the evolution of traditional Hawaiian arts.
Feathers and Lei
On display, you'll find truly authentic, handcrafted pieces curated by the Waikiki craft shop, Na Lima Mili Hulu No'eau, whose name means "skilled hands that touch feathers." Learn about the iconic Hawaiian pieces like the lei (garlands) that are expressions of aloha still today—presented as welcome and farewell gifts or worn by surfers during the opening and closing ceremonies of surf contests. And learn about the beautiful symbolism of feather kahili (staffs), flowery adornments that are symbols of rank worn by the Ali’i Hawaiian royalty.
Master craftswoman Mele Kahalepuna Chun graces The Royal Room with her feather craft passion and knowledge every Wednesday. Visitors can join her to gain an understanding of the royal significance of lei and receive expert guidance in designing garlands with their own laulima (working hands). Those that can’t make the workshops can purchase a lei and other souvenirs that support local artists at the exhibition’s retail space.
The Music of Legends
Complementing the exhibition’s art of feather making is the art of Hawaiian music. Photographs, original instruments and personal items mounted on stunning koa wood panels give an inside glimpse into the life and music from Hawaii's top musicians. There’s a special nod to the Na Lani ‘Eha, aka the Four Royal Composers. These four members of the Kingdom of Hawaii’s House of Kalakaua are regarded as the Patrons of Hawaiian Culture. Their talents and innovation have laid the foundations for the art and music that resonates around Hawaii today.