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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.


5 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

  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

    • Zack flegel

      Hello Umi Kai,

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

  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!

    • 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.


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