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Years ago in Hawaii I got one of these miniature warriors. It is broken by now but I loved what it looked like. According to the Hawaiian people, they are supposed to save your ass in dangerous situations. On a road trip to Texas a few weeks ago there was a really nice warrior head hanging in our car. I just now rediscovered this picture of it and wonder where exactly they originated. This what I found:

Most people call these warriors “Hawaiian warrior helmets” but they are really called “Makaki’i” or “Makini”. The full size versions were worn by the priests during various ceremonies and also by ocean canoe paddlers.

Apparently a long time ago during a visit by Captain James Cook to Kealekekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii, the ship’s artist John Weber saw and sketched men paddling canoes wearing gourd masks and feathers. These men were members of a warrior society called Makini and were intrusted with the protection of their high chief… Today it’s a symbol of safety and protection.


Image: Austin,Texas © 2011

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