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Hei, Lei Po'o, Flower Crown

Tahiti has little competition when it comes to the beauty of its flower traditions.

Called a "hei" in Tahitian, these floral crowns, made of blossoms such as tiara, hibiscus and plumeria, are worn by female dancers during Polynesian night performances as well as by brides and grooms being married in a traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony.

Hei may be composed of a pattern or series of just about anything, but most commonly consists of fresh natural foliage such as flowers, leaves, vines, fern fronds, and seeds.

Also a staple in Hawaii, the lei po’o symbolizes welcome (maeva in Tahitian), although its origins signaled love, affection, friendship or appreciation between two people.

Hei's should never be thrown in the trash, but rather should be returned to the earth by cutting the string and letting the petals flutter to the ground or into the sea. 

The process of making a hei is a great creative and mindful activity.  At out Tahiti retreat, each guest will learn the art of hei making. 


Katherine DeMent