Niʻihau 3-Tie Wili Poepoe Lei

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Niʻihau poepoe lei made by lei artist Tutu Outzen


Medium: Niʻihau Shell
Size: 20 in

Code: 1274M Categories: ,


Authentic Niʻihau 20” 3 Strand Wili Poepoe.  This stunning lei is twisted instead of tied showing a style of uniformity uncommon in many lei.   The Kahelelani shells featured are keʻokeʻo, ōmaʻōmaʻo, ākala wai pāpipi, mākuʻe, ʻulaʻula, and kāmoa lenalena.  Finished in the style of traditional loop and puka that pre-dates European closures.

Tutu Outzen is an artist with the very rare ability to create both the two and three strand twist styles of Poepoe. This style is distinctly influenced by international artisans but is becoming a mark of pride amongst Ni’ihau lei makers. Her signature is Poepoe Lei Wili that is wrapped instead of tied after every shell. It is very difficult to weave creating more uniformity and less space between shells. Tutu has mastered this technique over the course of 17 years and finishes her lei in the traditional macrame style. This Puka shell clasp with knotted fiber is what Hawaiians used before European contact. This adds to her body of work as being uniquely traditional and authentic. Tutu’s color blending is very original and distinctive. She is a master stringer with a warm heart and a beautiful interpretation of weaving Lei Pupu O Ni’ihau.

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