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Youngsters take part in La Lei Contest in Lihu‘e

Lyah Kama Drake, of the Kaua‘i Museum, said all of the contestants in La Lei Contest on Saturday were winners and would receive a prize from the Kaua‘i Museum for their efforts.

“We have a lot of students from different schools,” said Drake. “Our youngest lei maker is just 1 year old. We have students from the Kamehameha Schools preschools, Wilcox Elementary School, Island School and ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School. We even have three generations of one family doing this.”

Keiki participating in creating lei included 1-year-old Bree Coughlin, the sole keiki in her age group.

Ma Lyah “Pikake” and Kalia Coughlin were 3-year-old lei makers, and Paleku Rosario was the sole 4-year-old lei maker.

Ka‘iulani Coughlin and Alilea Rosario were the 5-year-old creators, and Ava Gushman and Kahiau Amorin were the 6-year-old makers.

Hendrix Gushman was the sole 8-year-old lei maker, being joined by Noa Rosario as the sole 10-year-old and Kananimelea Rosario, the sole 11-year-old.

Elvrine Chow of Heavenly Haku served as the site coordinator, making sure there was an ample supply of flowers, with some of the more exotic varieties, including jade and stephanotis.

Despite getting a slow start due to the fact the Kaua‘i Visitor Industry Charity Walk was taking place, lei-makers whizzed through their lei projects, and some of the more ambitious ones even made lei for guests showing up to watch the young hands create lei from plumeria, stephanotis and some fern for garnishing.

Drake, a member of the upcoming King’s Day celebration honoring King Kamehameha, said while La Lei participants sewed lei in the museum’s courtyard, work on finishing and creating kahili for the annual king’s parade, June 10, was being done in the museum’s upstairs show area.

La Lei Contest is the keiki version of the earlier Walter and Irmalee Pomroy Lei Contest that celebrated May Day is Lei Day at Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort Lihu‘e on May 1. The contest pays tribute to lei-makers Kats and Happy Tamanaha, who coordinated the contest for a number of years for the Kaua‘i Museum.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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