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Hawaiian Weapon Maker

Hawaiian weapon maker Gordon Umi Kai

 Gordon “Umi” Kai’s hawaiian weapons can be found at museums worldwide.

In the course of providing professional services to our clients, we often receive an education as well. A perfect example is what we have learned and what we continue to learn from Gordon ‘Umialiloalahanauokalakaua Kai, Former Director of Sales and Marketing for Avis/Budget Car Rentals. Gordon “Umi” Kai is well known in the community as a respected cultural practitioner whose specialty lies in the practice of Hawaiian implement carving and the ancient martial art of lua. Hawaiian weaponsA skilled craftsman of Hawaiian artifacts, Kai’s work has been featured in numerous magazines and is on display at several museums worldwide. Kai began exploring the art of weapon making at the age of 19, when he crafted his first Hawaiian weapon, a leiomano (a shark-toothed slashing tool) after seeing one in his uncle’s house growing up. With his interest sparked, Kai began building other types of Hawaiian weapons and soon began studying other aspects of his Hawaiian culture with mentors and scholars. Kai’s beautiful creations take the shape of authentic Hawaiian weapons and household goods, his materials ranging from indigenous hardwoods and spears to marlin bills and shark’s teeth. With over 40 years of experience and a reputation that has built up over time, Kai has earned a loyal following. Through his creations, he hopes he is also helping to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and ensure that it is better understood.

 

Produced courtesy of Olomana Loomis ISC, a Honolulu integrated communications agency and member of ICOM+IN, the leading international network of independent advertising agencies.

 

7 Responses to “Hawaiian Weapon Maker”

  1. Shirley Recca

    Aloha Umi, by the time I remembered your name, you had left. It was nice to see you. Thank you again for your kokua with Delys’ fundraiser years ago. She is a alumni of Kamemeha Schools, has a degree in business administration/entrepreneurship, teaches hawaiian studies at Pearl Harbor Elementary School and is my alaka’i teaching hula in the Moanalua area. Aloha Pumehana, Shirley

    Reply
  2. Umi Kai

    Aloha mai e Shirley,
    It was nice to see you and watch your beautiful Hula.
    Glade to hear that Dely is doing well and sharing talents with the Keiki.
    O wau no o Umi

    Reply
    • Zack flegel

      Hello Umi Kai,

      I would love to see your crafts, is this possible?

      Reply
  3. Zack flegel

    Hello Umi Kai,

    I am visiting Maui on vacation and have a great respect for tradional weaponry of all backgrounds. I’d love to visit and see some of your art, as well as see if any could be adopted for my martial arts training? Contact me please!

    Reply
    • Umi Kai

      Aloha Zack,
      You can reach me by email at ulupono1@gmail.com or via my website: kaikompany.com.
      I live on Oahu and make most of the items by order.
      Mahalo,
      Umi

      Reply
  4. John Wedow

    Sir I have seen your artistry and wonder if you may help . I am 66 and just had a very dicy Heart operation at Pali Mome . So Dr La I a humble artist was 1 of maybe 8 in America to even attempt what he did with a wire up my leg into my Heart . Soon I do miles of Ocean swim again with my new Heart . He has done this move before a few times and his middle name may be cool confidence . Anyhow since a Kid my bucket list has a real Antiquity Roman Spear Point . I lucked out with a reserve off auction bid and nobody on Earth wanted it So I am the owner now . Ah hahahaaa . Its verified from Sothbys as 2nd Century A D Iron about 14 inches long 41 some ounces . It was the 2x heavier than the 2 throwing Javalines they carried . The headlines head came off on impact so no throw backs . Mine is their Heavy battle one they made the tank like Turtle formation with . Or advancing with locked shields also like the Turtle . My question Sir is would you like to replicate the shaft . I could as I am a Woodsman but I rightly believe your Artistry would do it justice . Thank you for your time . Respectfully John Wedow , Kapolei 808-218-5216

    Reply
    • Winona

      Aloha John, I no longer have our Weapon Maker’s email address so I’m unable to forward your comment but hopefully, he still checks out our blogs and will get back to you. Best of luck and Mahalo for your comment

      Reply

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