It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer!
Let’s celebrate the season with the lei and flower crown, a Hawaiian tradition with thousands of years of history. Flower artist and lei maker Ocean Dreamer (ocean_dreamerr on Instagram) has a feed full of gorgeous lei and flower crown designs for weddings and all occasions we’d like to spotlight today.
The Origins of Leis
Leis have been constructed of various materials including flowers, shells, leaves, nuts, feathers, and bone, but a braid of green Maile vine has been at the center of the lei all along.
The lei was introduced to Hawaii by the ancient Polynesian voyagers who first settled the islands. For centuries leis have been worn as garments to beautify the wearer, exchanged by leaders to seal peace agreements, and served a ceremonial purpose in religious rites and celebrations.
In the colonial era and later on as tourism to the islands expanded, lei vendors sold their wares to British and American visitors, and the lei took on another meaning as a form of greeting. It became tradition to throw one’s lei into the waters if departing Hawaii by ship.
Today there are few hard rules about when and where to don a lei—it is an all-occasion garment, but because of their great beauty and use of fresh flowers, leis are most often worn during celebrations.
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Ocean Dreamer’s Leis and Flower Crowns
Ocean Dreamer herself is a designer in Hawaii with a strong social media presence. That alone is something to admire these days, but her designs are all spectacular and if you check out her feed you can find them adorning wedding chuppahs and arches as well as being worn for everyday use and celebrations. She even includes some process pictures as she works to get just the right look.
Florists, have you received any requests for leis or Hawaiian style flower crowns? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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