Symbols | World
Books | Store | Blog
About | Contact

Hawaii Cultural Symbols

Hawaii’s cultural symbols pack a punch.

Cultural Symbols  
Individual Sport surfing 1998
Team Sport Outrigger Canoe Paddling 1986
Language Hawaiian 1978
(Code or Philosophy?) Aloha Spirit 1986
Tartan 2008
Order of Merit Aloha Order of Merit 1993
Dance hula 1999
Kahiko (Traditional) Musical Instrument pahu 2015
Auana (Modern) Musical Instrument ukulele 2016
Hawaiian “Cultural Symbols

Forget football, baseball, and basketball; the official sports are surfing and outrigger canoe paddling. While states across the U.S. designate English their official language, Hawaii’s official language is Hawaiian.

Wyoming has an official “Code of the West.” Hawaii has something called “Aloha Spirit,” which some have described as the state philosophy. Can it really be considered a state symbol, though? Philosophically speaking, why not?

Below is a description of Aloha Spirit from the state statutes.

If Hawaiians were to adopt an official clothing, surely it would be the fabled grass skirt. Instead, Hawaii is among the states with an official tartan. How strange is that?

Red and yellow symbolize the monarchy and the fire and lava that gave birth to the Hawaiian Islands. Brown represents the cooled rock, while green is symbolic of vegetation. Blue recalls the sky and sea.

TartansHawaii’s official state tartan is on the left. On the right is my vision of a Hawaiian tartan. (By Celtus, CC BY-SA 2.5, Source.)

Don’t be too quick to count grass skirts out of the race, however. We will meet what may be Hawaii’s most exciting symbol under symbols of the arts.

Hawaii HomeState Cultural Symbols Home