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. A 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.