The great Aloha State is world-renowned for its natural beauty and easygoing culture. Hawaii has long inspired people and popular culture with its captivating music, food, and style. With so many people visiting America’s 50th state for tourism and many more simply being inspired by Hawaiian culture, it’s no wonder that Hawaiian-inspired gifts are so popular.
If you are one of the many people who are enthralled by the gorgeous state of Hawaii and its culture, then you should consider shopping for yourself and for gifts from a Hawaii gift shop. A reputable, high-quality Hawaii gift shop like Whaler’s Locker can offer you a great selection of jewelry, shark teeth, healing crystals, fossils, and more that make unique items to own or give as gifts. Read on to find out what makes gifts from Hawaii so special and why you should pick a few out for someone you love (or yourself!).
All About Hawaii
Before you shop at a Hawaii gift shop, it would be helpful to know more about this vibrant archipelago that became the U.S.A.’s 50th state on August 21, 1959. This state is actually a group of eight major volcanic islands located in the central Pacific Ocean, which are 2,397 miles from San Francisco, California, to the east and 5,293 miles from Manila, Philippines, to the west. Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii, and it is located on the island of Oahu.
Hawaii has a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.
Hawaii’s Other Important Activities Include Research and Development Related To:
- Satellite communications
The islands are called “the Crossroads of the Pacific” and are important strategically to the United States’ global defense system, as well as serving as the Pacific basin’s transportation hub.
A Brief History of Hawaii
Hawaii, along with Easter Island and New Zealand, is one of the three island groups that make up the Polynesian Triangle, which shares similar language, culture, and traditions. Polynesian people from Tahiti and Marquesas were the first to settle in Hawaii around the 7th century, and this original society developed around a caste system.
Each island had its own specialized trades, and four individual chiefdoms emerged, which were Hawai‘i, Maui, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i. A significant event in Hawaiian history is when King Kamehameha I brought the four chiefdoms together into a single kingdom under his rule in 1810. In the 19th century, Hawaii grew not only in population but also in commerce, with a plantation system for sugar cane, coffee, and pineapples.
In 1898, Hawaii was annexed by the United States. Another major event in Hawaii’s history was Japan’s attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which spurred the U.S. into World War II. In 1959, Hawaii became America’s 50th state.
Hawaii is one of the world’s longest island chains. It is also the only state in the U.S.A. that is completely made of islands. Hawaii is known for its gorgeous beaches with bright blue waters and sands in shades of white, green, red, pink, and black, depending on the beach.
One of Hawaii’s most important natural resources is its rich volcanic soil, which produces sugarcane, pineapples, coffee, macadamia nuts, and flowers — all extremely important sources for the economy of the state. However, tourism is the major source of income for Hawaii.
What Can You Find at a Hawaii Gift Shop?
Hawaii is a beautiful place containing even more beautiful people and culture. Even if you haven’t traveled to the islands yourself, we are sure you are still drawn to this gorgeous archipelago. At a Hawaii gift shop, you’ll find unique, Hawaii-inspired goods that make great gifts for a variety of occasions.
3 Good Reasons to Buy Hawaii-Inspired Gifts from a Hawaii Gift Shop:
- To honor Hawaii and its rich culture
- For nature-inspired items
- To support ethically and sustainably made goods
Hawaii is known for its breathtaking beaches, laid-back culture, and delicious food. But Native Hawaiians also have sacred, historical traditions, and some of those practices include art and jewelry that is reflective of their gorgeous island home. Many Hawaii gift shops sell jewelry and products that are inspired by the beauty and culture of Hawaii and its people.
Inspired by Nature
Much of Hawaii-inspired jewelry includes pieces of nature, which is reflective of how the people of Hawaii are known for connecting with nature around them. Many pieces include natural elements like shells, stones, and fossils. Making and wearing Hawaii-inspired jewelry is a practice that can honor Hawaii and its culture.
Ethically and Sustainably Made
When shopping for Hawaii-inspired gifts and jewelry, you will want to make sure that what you are purchasing is ethical and sustainable. Here at Whaler’s Locker, we strive to ensure that all of our products are made ethically and that their production does not hurt our environment. When you purchase goods from Whaler’s Locker, you are supporting a local Hawaii gift shop and our community’s artisans.
What Are Good Gifts from Hawaii?
If you love Hawaii, its people, and its culture, then shopping at a Hawaii gift shop is a must. You can find beautiful natural treasures that are not available in any old gift shop down the street. Hawaii-inspired jewelry and gifts make a unique gift for anyone in your life and also are great keepsakes for yourself.
Some of Our Favorite Souvenirs to Buy at a Hawaii Gift Shop:
- Shark teeth
- Healing crystals
- Baltic amber
- Maui hook necklaces
About Shark Tooth Jewelry
One popular item you can buy from a Hawaii gift shop is shark teeth and shark tooth jewelry. It may surprise you to find out that Hawaii is home to approximately 40 different species of sharks!
Because of the abundance of sharks in Hawaii, unsurprisingly, shark tooth necklaces are an important part of Hawaiian history and culture. Legend says that a young Hawaiian warrior once battled and defeated a sea god, and he came out of the ocean wearing a shark tooth necklace. These necklaces are now believed to be a symbol of strength and protection.
Another interesting shark tooth fact is that sharks have about five rows of teeth and as many as 3,000 teeth at one time. Because a shark’s teeth do not have roots, they fall out easily (sharks can lose up to 100 teeth a day!). However, sharks are constantly producing new teeth to replace their lost ones.
All About Fossil Gifts
Another unique gift you can buy at many Hawaii gift shops is a fossil, which is the preserved remains and/or traces of remains of ancient plants and animals. Whaler’s Locker offers an authentic and expansive collection of fossils, including ammonites, trilobites, mosasaur teeth, fossilized sand dollars, and more. Owning a fossil is a way to own a piece of natural history that is thousands and thousands of years old — how amazing is that?
Let’s take a further look at the intriguing ammonite fossils. Ammonites are prehistoric marine mollusks that lived millions of years ago. This organism was a soft-bodied invertebrate that protected itself with a thick shell.
Today, ammonite fossils are one of the most common types of fossils found. These fossilized shells have beautiful and mesmerizing patterns. There are many different shapes of ammonite shells, from straight to coiled to partially coiled.
What’s the Deal with Healing Crystals?
More excellent items to buy from an ethical, sustainable Hawaii gift shop are healing crystals. Just what are healing crystals? These are stones that are believed by some to have specific healing properties that can help a person’s mind, body, and soul.
You may want to buy a healing crystal to benefit a specific area of your life, or maybe you want to build a collection of crystals that can help with an array of issues. Healing crystals are said to work with a person’s aura, which is the energy field surrounding a person or object, to bring about measurable, positive change.
So, just what are the most powerful healing crystals? There are several types of popular healing crystals that you should consider buying from a Hawaii gift shop.
5 of the Most Powerful Healing Crystals:
- Quartz (clear, smoky, or rose): “The Master Healer”
- Agate: rebalancing, cleansing, transforming
- Amethyst: protecting, soothing, relieving stress/anxiety
- Carnelian: stabilizing, guiding, motivating
- Jasper: “The Supreme Nurturer”
What is Scrimshaw?
Another unique gift to consider purchasing from a Hawaii gift shop is a piece adorned with scrimshaw. Scrimshaw art includes carvings and artwork etched into natural elements such as bone, ivory, tusks, or skin. This style of art combines the talents of Hawaii artists and the natural elements that play such an important role in Hawaiian culture.
Scrimshaw began in the mid-1700s in New England as a hobby for whalers who had downtime in the evenings when they were not able to whale. The whalers created beautiful designs on old pieces of bone and whale teeth, which were byproducts that were going to waste otherwise.
Although whaling is now in the past, scrimshaw art lives on in Hawaii. Scrimshaw can be used for decoration alone or adorn items such as letter openers, money clips, lighters, cufflinks, and magnifying glasses.
What Is Baltic Amber?
Baltic amber jewelry is another beautiful — and useful — item to consider buying from a Hawaii gift shop. Although Baltic amber is often called a gemstone, it is actually a fossil that’s formed from tree bark resin that has hardened over many, many years. The natural Baltic amber that is widely used today typically comes from northern Europe’s Baltic region.
Not only is Baltic amber pleasing to look at, but it is said to have powerful healing properties. When warmed (like against your skin), Baltic amber releases succinic acid, which is a substance noted for its anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing, and natural pain-relieving properties. Baltic amber can be worn to help with everything from soothing teething babies to helping alleviate arthritis or headaches.
Another surprising use for Baltic amber is for skin care. The succinic acid found in this fossil is an ingredient that is also included in many types of skincare, such as products for acne control and anti-aging. The acid promotes cell growth and turnover, which can lead to better skin clarity, texture, and elasticity.
What Are Maui Hook Necklaces?
Maui hook necklaces are a recognizable and popular item from Hawaii gift shops. Maui and his fishhook necklace are widely known, thanks to the Disney movie, “Moana,” but Maui is more than just a movie character — he is a notable figure and hero in Polynesian mythology. Maui hook necklaces are important to the culture of Polynesia and in Hawaiian tradition.
“Makau” is the traditional name for the fish hook necklace in Hawaiian or Polynesian culture. The Makau is said to symbolize the connection between the wearer and the ocean. Hawaiians see the necklace as representing energy, prosperity, and strength.
In Polynesian culture, carving and engraving have been a way to pass on stories and history from generation to generation. Before colonization occurred, Polynesians recorded their history through symbolism in art. Carving items like Maui hook necklaces is a way for Hawaiians to keep their rich culture alive and honor ancient traditions.
Why Shop at a Hawaii Gift Shop?
Armed with this wealth of information about Hawaii and some of its amazing offerings, we hope that you will think about buying your next gift (or two or three) from a Hawaii gift shop like Whaler’s Locker. Hawaii-inspired gifts are unique, natural, and significant.
Chances are, you won’t find unique gifts like fossilized Megalodon teeth, scrimshaw cufflinks, or Baltic amber earrings at your local neighborhood gift shop. Hawaii-inspired gifts from Whaler’s Locker are also made of natural elements, which are procured ethically and sustainably, that respect and commemorate our planet. Finally, buying Hawaii-inspired pieces can be a significant, meaningful way to honor and celebrate Hawaiian culture — a culture so strong that many hardships have not been able to destroy it.
With these great reasons in hand, we hope that you will soon hop on a plane to visit Hawaii yourself — or at least hop online and shop from a great Hawaii gift shop! Aloha and happy gift-giving!