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Experience Alchemy in Hawaii

Kauai’s Moonbow Magic offers unique local gifts

Andrea, her husband Craig and the kahuna prepare for the blessing .

Moonbow Magic Gift Gallery, on the west side of Kauai in Hanapepe town, is a treasure trove of unique gift ideas. Hidden just off main street in a lively courtyard filled with trees, beautiful flowers, and water fountains, this eclectic shop draws a lot of Hawaii Vacation shoppers.

Fish, geckos and roosters are hand-made with colorful glass beads.

Recently, Moonbow Magic celebrated its grand opening Hawaiian style. In Hawaii, it’s traditional to have a blessing when starting a new venture. Blessings are performed to encourage profitability for new businesses, abiding love in a marriage or health in a newborn. The blessings, a call to Akua (God), summon the human desires of love, protection, joy and prosperity.

It’s hot in the mid afternoon sun when the kahuna begins with an ole (chant) in her native Hawaiian tongue. The ancient words, projected to the good people of Hanapepe, are infused with power and grace. Soon, black bumble bees the size of ping pong balls, are buzzing around and shadows are cast from shimmering butterfly wings. Someone looks up and notices the moon hanging low in the sky.

Bees symbolize industry and wealth. Butterflies symbolize transformation and good fortune. I was grateful to have witnessed such a powerful moment and happy to share my ha (breath, life force) with the fifty or so other folks who came to wish owner Andrea King goodwill.

Inside, the little shop is packed with color, sparkle and unique hand made gifts from Kauai’s local artists. Earrings of gold, silver and semi precious stones, bracelets depicting ocean life and island inspired home decorations overflow the shelves.

When I’m on vacation, I’m always on the lookout for fun and interesting gifts that speak of the place I’m visiting. I’m on a quest for souvenirs to decorate my home and keepsakes for friends and family. After spending a day popping in and out of tourist shops, it’s disheartening when all I can find are common trinkets.

But at here, my eyes dance from hand-carved necklaces to colorful glass-beaded fish to a chess board depicting Hawaiian royalty. Andrea King is a delight. Effervescent with a genuine affection for people, her beautiful eyes sparkle with glee. Her joyful smile and dry wit tickle my wicked sense of humor and I fall in love with the fanciful store and its owner.Photos by Dan Lane.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Feb 20, 2011