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Exhibit reveals distinction, beauty of Niihau shell lei

By Susan Scott

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 09, 2013

~~<p>In the past when someone mentioned Niihau shell lei, I wondered why the shells that washed up on Nii&shy;hau beaches were special. Couldn't a person find similar shells on other island beaches? Which snail species grew the shells? Are people still making the intricate lei? How can you tell they're from Niihau?</p>
<p>Last week I got the answers to my questions, and more, in elegant fashion. I visited the Bishop Muse&shy;um's exhibit &quot;Niihau Shell Lei: Ocean Origins and Living Traditions.&quot;</p>
~~

In the past when someone mentioned Niihau shell lei, I wondered why the shells that washed up on Nii­hau beaches were special. Couldn't a person find similar shells on other island beaches? Which snail species grew the shells? Are people still making the intricate lei? How can you tell they're from Niihau?

Last week I got the answers to my questions, and more, in elegant fashion. I visited the Bishop Muse­um's exhibit "Niihau Shell Lei: Ocean Origins and Living Traditions." Login for more...



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