Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

08 January 2007

Chapter Six: Picnic in the Ioa Valley

Rose Lydia and Virginia helped their mother gather the hampers of food while Joseph tied the horses securely. Julia Gomes was glad to see her old friends, the Silvas. The women gathered under a banyan tree and enjoyed a good old fashioned gossip and general catching up of news. The men clustered in small groups and talked of cattle and crops and politics.

The younger girls decided to walk in search of fern and ginger to make everyone leis. They had learned this craft at school and they could also make very beautiful wreathes for their hair.

An hour later, emerging from their green lair, they were loaded down with bough and wreathes and leis of verdant green fern and ivory white ginger flowers. They looked like happy wood nymphs, laughing and giggling as they dispersed their gifts to everyone.

When Rose hesitatingly offered João and Tony a floral decoration, they accepted with alacrity. Rose blushingly handed them each a lei that she had made herself.

“But you must put it around my neck as the natives do!” João said teasingly.
“Yes!” added Tony and give us a kiss to seal your gift! It is the Hawaiian custom!”


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