Akalei Designs is Hawaii's primier designer of handcrafted Kumihimo beaded Hawaiian Lei. Recently featured in Maui on HI Now with POP-Up Mãkeke and Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. With hundreds of unique designs we were recently awarded “Best Beaded Lanyard” from The American Kumihimo Society (2023) for our complex braid structures. And another positive development in 2023 we had 3 designs selected for a juried art exhibit in Oahu by The Hawaiian Handweavers Hui. This public recognition reflects how our unique and high quality necklace lei are gaining attention. All our designs are handcrafted on Maui. We are unique in that we are able to incorporate aspects of floral lei into modern forever lei using glass beads with designs normally only seen in the shell lei made famous on the island of Ni’ihau (The Forbidden Island).
Two-toned Brown "Forbidden Island" Rizo Bead (Lilikoi) Lei Necklace -30” (Custom Orders Only)
Earth toned brown Hawaiian Glass Beaded Lilikoi Lei Necklace is another "one-of-a-kind" design that reflects the beauty discovered all throughout Hawaii. This beautiful "Forbidden Island Inspired" design is made wIth Brown Travertine and Beige Picasso “Rizo” Beads and Brown Picasso Seed Beads. Imagine threading a grain of rice with a cord, that is the amount of detail required to make these designs. The necklace is finished with an etched silver tone magnetic (for a strong hold) with a combined length of 30". The manufacturer is no longer making either of these Rizo toned beads so are rare in general. This is a "made to order" items so please give up to 2-3 weeks lead time to make for you (lengths can vary as will price). Various magnet end caps can be used if you prefer something different. Everyone you know will think this is a Ni'iHau shell lei but you can assure them it is not, but they will be inspired when seeing this design.
There are hundreds of beads precisely loaded onto 8 nylon fiber braiding cords that are then woven together in a technique called “Kongo Gumi” or strong braid, with one bead at a time added and snuggled into the design to create this elegant necklace.
The weaving of beads requires many hours of braiding on a Japanese wooden stand called a “Marudai”. These necklaces feel wonderful to wear and require little to almost no care by using a clean dry towel every few months to keep dust free and bright. Due to the durability of the glass beads this necklace will last for years. You can also mix and match with different lengths of similar Lei or try the Forbidden Island inspired necklaces in that collection (see sample photo in this item).
For customization please contact email@example.com.
Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braid making technique that creates beautiful and strong interlaced cords. This art form goes back hundreds of years as braids were made for use in armor of Japanese samurai warriors. In modern times these braids are designed as belts (obijime) used on kimonos.