Shop Home » KANE

Ulua Tee

As most know, but haku mele (poets and songwriters) deeply understand, the poetical aesthetic of Hawaiians is to compare people and relationships to elements in nature. Our penchant for this type of metaphor is seen clearly in the various sayings for the two iʻa (fish) depicted in this design. The kūmū fish (Parupeneus porphyreus) is a classic metaphor for a good-looking ipo (sweetheart), whether male or female. This iʻa is endemic to Hawaiʻi and prized for its flavor. It was commonly offered it to the gods because of its red color. The ulua usually represents a male ipo, as in the saying "Aia i ka huki ulua" Gone to pull in an ulua fish (Gone to find her a man). In the deep past, the act of seeking out a human sacrifice was called kāpapa ulua and if a man could not be obtained, an ulua could be used in his place (mōhai pānaʻi). The ulua aukea (Giant Trevally or Caranx ignobilis) is reported to exceed 200 lbs in weight. These koa (warriors) of the sea give shore fisherman a great fight. Vast schools of ulua aukea frequent the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, but are less common in the main Hawaiian Islands. He hialaʻai wale kā kuʻu maka e hana ai My eyes delight in devouring her beauty.  (From the story of Kualunuiaola in Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, 1891)

Organic cotton | Designed in Hawaiʻi | Made in the USA