Hawaiian Paʻakai

Hawaiian Pa’akai translates to Hawaiian Sea Salt.  To simply translate the word Pa’akai from Hawaiian to English doesn’t do this ancient tradition justice.  Below is the Mo’olelo or Story of how the skill of harvesting Salt from the Ocean came to be.

Hi’iaka a young woman from Hanapepe often traveled to the shores of ‘Ukula to fish and gather food from the sea.  One day, Hi’iaka had caught too many fish.  Even after giving away portions of her catch to family, friends, and strangers she still had much left.  Feeling bad for taking far more then she had needed, she began to cry.

At that moment an elderly woman appeared to console her.  The woman took Hi’iaka’s hand assuring her that she would help. “Come with me,” she said and lead Hi’iaka to an area just beyond the beach.  She began to dig a pit in the ground until it filled up with water that came up from within the earth.  “Put your fish in here for a little while, then dry it out in the sun,” the woman told her.  The old woman explained to Hi’iaka how the salt from the ocean spring would help preserve the rest of her catch.

The first salt is said to have come from Hi’iaka tears as her earnest nature endeared her to the Gods.  The old woman in some versions of this story is referred to as Pele.

This marked the beginning of the famous Lo’i Pa’akai of ‘Ukula at Hanapepe.  From that day on, the knowledge of farming Hawaiian Salt was spread among Hawaiian People and still thrives strong today.

My thanks to Hawai’i Pa’akai for providing the Mo’olelo.  I always encourage people to be aware of what they are buying and where it comes from.  Hawaiian Pa’akai will soon be featured as an ingredient of my scrubs I hope with this article my customers can appreciate not just the wonderful feeling after using my product but also the history behind it’s ingredients.

Hawaiian Pa’akai History & Process Video


If you have any questions click on the link for Hawai’i Pa’akai to see how Pa’akai is still being traditionally made by Hawaiian Families on the island of Kauai.

Lo'i Pa'akai of Kauai