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The Different Types of Hawaiian Leis

The Hawaiian lei doesn’t just come in one variety; there are multiple different types of Hawaiian leis. This gives you a plethora of options to determine which one will fit a specific situation, whether you want to give it to a college graduate or present it to family members at a funeral service. Know what your options are when looking into the different types of Hawaiian Leis.

The Materials Used

There are many objects used in the construction of the Hawaiian lei, such as seeds, shells, feathers, bones, nuts, and, most commonly, flowers. Some common selections for flower leis are tuberose, ti leaf, plumeria, and ginger. But among all these flowers, the most popular is the Hawaiian orchid lei for its beauty, fragrance, and variety of colors.

A Variety of Weaves

A lei maker can construct the necklace in several different fashions, giving each one a unique look. Some of those weaves include:


This is the most common style of lei weave you’re likely to find. This technique is a kind of piercing method. The lei maker takes a needle and punctures the selected material, and string the decoctions along to form the necklace.


This method has the maker braid the weave before inserting the material, with each new flower inserted into a new braid. Generally, the maker uses long leaves or tree bark to create the ideal braid.


Humu is a type of basting which the maker sews directly into the necklace. The materials overlap each other, giving a distinctive look similar to scales.


The lei is a rope constructed of two separate strands wrapped together. The most common material makers use is ti leaves.

Know What the Occasion Calls For

Some styles of lei have deep-rooted cultural meanings, making them more significant in certain circumstances. Be aware of the implications of the lei you present, whether it’s a graduation, wedding anniversary, birthday, or funeral. A lei is a sign of love, respect, and congratulations, but make sure it is situationally appropriate.