Although sadly no longer with us, we could not speak of the Faces of Kohanaiki without speaking of Auntie Elizabeth, who played such a pivotal role in bringing together the lineal descendants of the families who once lived at Kohanaiki, and Kohanaiki’s management, to create a shared commitment to restore and preserve the historic and cultural sites at Kohanaiki and to perpetuate the culture by incorporating the many cultural sites into the community.
Auntie Elizabeth Malu‘ihi Lee was born on this land in 1929. A gentle soul who remained fully engaged in life, she embodied the vitality to which we aspire. Auntie Elizabeth’s passion for the weaving of lauhala (hala leaf) hats lead to her being named a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i for her preservation and cultivation of the art. She traveled the archipelago of the South Pacific, demonstrating her skill and showing the wares of her artful hand.
We dedicate our Kohanaiki Spa to the life and work of Auntie Elizabeth.