Ni‘ihau Collectors’ Lei, 33-Inch 7-Strand Mauna Loa ‘ula’ula

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This exquisite 33-inch, 7-strand Mauna Loa-weave lei is strung with perfectly matching kahelelani ‘ula’ula (turban shells, burgundy) and is unusual in terms of the quantity of matching shells collected to create it.

Finished with two pōleholeho ‘āpu’upu’u (cowrie shells, bumpy) and two kaunoʻo ʻeleʻele (sundial shells, black) with a handcrafted 14K gold clasp.


Medium: Niʻihau Shell
Size: 33"


Niʻihau Collectors’ Lei, 33-Inch 7-Strand Mauna Loa ‘ula’ula. Crafted by master artisan Corey Karleen.

About The Artist ~ Corey’s Story

As a small child, I could walk out of my house – right onto Haena Beach – and delve into an amazing world of beautiful shells. Hearing the story of Ni’ihau shells when I was 8 years old, I focused on their cousin shells from Kaua’i and started to tediously pick these very small specimens, making my first rustic lei when I was just 10. But ages 16 through 21 were the years I became a competent lei maker.

For love, I moved to the mainland for 10 years and, upon my return, continued studying the art of shell lei through my favorite childhood book, Ni’ihau Shell Leis by Linda Park. I was truly inspired to make the leis in the book and could feel the passion running through my blood, and deep in my soul. I told myself I would do whatever it takes to carry on this amazing tradition. I hope that, when looking at this art, other people feel the same sense of awe that inspired me to create my leis.

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