Unique to Hawaii, Opihi play a key role in the marine ecosystem by keeping shoreline algae growth in check.
Opihi is named after the limpet shells which grow in abundance on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean and are considered a delicacy in Hawaii.
Opihi can’t wait to pick the delicious shells for his Ohana (family) and himself. But picking Opihi on the cliffs is very dangerous. Opihi’s Kupua Kane (grandfather) promised that he will teach him how to pick them when he is a little bit older.
In the meantime Opihi is content to fill his fishing net with the delicious mussels he finds at Punalu’u Black Sands Beach. Dinner will be a feast for his Ohana and him!
Opihi loves to play. While he patiently fills his net with mussels, he visualizes what it will be like when his Menehune Kaukinis (cousins), Nai'a and Amy, come down to the beach and they start playing together. Opihi imagines how they will swim in the ocean, build castles in the black sand, and play races with the black beach crabs. They will have a blast!
Opihi knows that his thoughts are like seeds which grow into reality. Sure enough, there comes Nai'a and Amy and the fun begins!
Opihi’s Tutu (grandmother) polished the most beautiful Opihi shell crafted and put it on her her Mo'opuna Kane's (grandson's) head to protect him from the blazing sun at the beach. Then Tutut crafted and blessed his Opihi shell amulet. She also sewed his red Malu (wraparound) with a dolphin design and crocheted little red shoes. All these things were Tutu's gifts of Aloha to her beloved Mo'opuna Kane.