The Legend of Naupaka

The beautiful Naupaka grows a unique half-flower at the beach and its counterpart in the mountains. There are different versions of the myth that explains the half-flowers of the beach and mountain Naupaka.

One myth holds that Pele’s beautiful sister fell in love with a commoner, and Pele, in her anger, chased him to the sea (in her form as lava) and her sister ran to the mountains, where she thought Pele could not find her. Pele did find her, and killed her as she had killed her sister’s lover. At the beach and in the mountains, the half flowers grew where the lovers died. Some say if you put the flowers together, the lovers will be reunited.

A similar legend holds that Princess Naupaka was forbidden to marry her true love, a fisherman. As they parted ways forever, she took a flower from her haku (head lei) and tears it in half, symbolizing their separation. She returns to the mountains where she grew up and the fisherman returns to the sea.

Still another says that a royal father separated his royal daughter and her commoner lover, condemning them to live forever apart ~ she in the mountains, and he at the seashore. It is said that if the mountain Naupaka and beach Naupaka flowers are reunited, the two young lovers will be together again.

`O `oe ku`u lei o Naupaka
Ke onaona a ke aloha
Hau`oli mau kâua
I nâ pua `ala onaona
A pili mau loa kâua

He pua no `oe
Ho`opa `ia e ke kêhau
Ko maka palupalu
Mau momi `âlohilohi

Maliu mai e ku`u pua
Na`u e inu i kou nani
Pûlama a mâlama
`O Naupaka

You are my lei of Naupaka
The soft fragrance of love
We will always be happy
The flowers, so fragrant
Two of us, together forever

You are my flower
Touched by dew
Your gentle eyes
Radiant, like pearls

Turn to me, my blossom
Your beauty, mine to indulge
(I will) cherish and care for you
Naupaka

Lanikai Bath and Body’s Naupaka collection

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