Saturday, September 26, 2015

Opihi, the Favorite Pupu of Hawaii

Hinuhinu wale i ka lihi o ke kai
Shining there at the sea's edge

Me he pai pu`u ala i ho`opuu `ia
Clustered like little hills

`O ka `opihi hälala
The giant Opihi

In old Hawaii Opihi were said to have grown as large as oranges because, with their great respect to the 'Aina and  refraining from all greed and waste, Hawaiians picked only what they needed. In those days Opihi lived longer and grew bigger than today, when they grow only to about the size of a golf ball.

Opihi are small cone shaped limpets which cling to the rest cry shorelines of Hawaii. Extraordinarily strong by nature, they survive during the hot and dry periods of low tide and the pounding waves of high tide. Up to this day Opihi picketrs risk and often loose their lives picking these delicious shells. The best Opihi with the yellow meat are found on the rocks where the waves are the roughest. Always aware of the unpredictable dangers of the ocean,  Hawaiians made sure to never turn their backs to the water while using a stick to pry the Opihi off the rocks.
They referred to Ohihi as'he ia make' meaning ' a creature that could cause death'. 

Opihi was and is Hawaii's favorite Pupu (snack). It is often eaten right out of the shell. In old Hawaii the oval shaped cells with their sharp edges were always saved to be used as a tool for scraping, peeling and scooping.

Today Opihi shells are also used to make beautiful jewelry like pendants or earrings.
Unique to Hawaii, Opihi play a key role in the marine ecosystem by keeping shoreline algae growth in check.

Menehune Boy Opihi was created in appreciation of this favorite Hawaiian Pupu (snack).

Birthdate: Kepakemapa 25, 2015 (09/25/2015)

Look at Opihi and let your thoughts too become the seeds of what you wish to harvest!

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.

Opihi is about 4” tall fitting in the palm of your hand. The body is made out of stretch cotton and wired for flexibility. The eyes and mouth are intricately embroidered onto the face. Opihi has little hands and feet, ears, buttocks, and a belly button. All accessories were individually handcrafted.

Opihi is a one of a kind collectible display dolls handcrafted by Hawaiian Dolls. He comes with his story and a certificate of authenticity.

Opihi conveys the power of thoughts.

Opihi is available on special order. Please contact me at: or visit my website at:

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