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The Significance of the Maile Lei

Going back in history, the significance of the maile lei stood as an admission of love and an offering of peace. Today, the maile lei stands for much the same thing and is traditionally used during important ceremonies and life events. Add to the cultural significance of the lei by considering the history and impact of the maile lei when looking to celebrate events in your own life.


In ancient times on the Hawaiian Islands, the maile was left by women at the entranceway of the house of a man she wished to marry. This tradition has made this lei a representation of love and affection between two lovers. Even today, the significance of the maile lei is seen in traditional Hawaiian wedding ceremonies. The priest binds the hands of the couple together with a strand of maile to symbolize their lasting commitment to one another.


While they are typically used to denote romantic love between two people, maile leis can also be given to friends and family members to represent the love you feel toward them. Although the maile isn’t typically seen as representing love for friends, it can certainly be used as such.


Back when there were still warring tribes on the Hawaiian Islands, an establishment of peace meant the construction of a maile lei at the hands of two warring chiefs. The tribes would come together, and their leaders would discuss terms to end hostilities. When they reached an agreement, the two chiefs assembled a maile necklace.

Importance Today

Today, the symbolism of love still holds true, while its meaning as an offering of peace has subsided. Maile leis are still commonly seen adorning the happy couple at Hawaiian weddings as well as certain members of the bridal party.

If you decide that the maile is the right addition to your celebration, contact Hawaii Lei Stand for a wide selection of maile leis for sale. Beyond their cultural importance, they will add beauty through their design and powerful fragrance, giving your day a distinct and unique feel.