Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pua Kenikeni

small tree, flowers (fagraea berteriana), fruit, fragrant, used for leis.

Today's word is especially for my dear friend, E. Kaiponohea Hale. His favorite lei is the lei pua kenikeni. Like the pua kenikeni, kaipo is strong, VERY sweetly scented, leaving you dizzy, and yet you should take the time to enjoy the beauty from afar or up close, next to your bosom.

It's pua kenikeni blossoming time, people. If you see a blossom on the tree, whether it's in its early stage as white or just turning yellow or in its deep orange state, pick it, enjoy it, even when it has bruises on it and is withering because its smell is just as sweet. Of course we all know pua means flower, but I bet most of you don't know that kenikeni is the word for dime or 10 cents. Yes, it's the 10 cents flower, because it is said that at one time they were sold 10 cents apiece. well worth its price, I assure you. Nowadays, you can buy those fimo dough looking flowers for your hair or a fake pua kenikeni lei for your neck. Good if you're on the mainland or want to dress up your muʻu on an out of season occasion, but when you have a chance, there is no substitution worthy of its beauty, its fragrance. Splurge. Buy a lei, pick a flower. And enjoy the pua kenikeni. And think of my hoaaloha, Kaiponohea!

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