In Hawaii, Hawaiian heirloom bracelets are a significant and special part of our culture. The Hawaiian bracelet represents womanhood and the many milestones that a girl experiences in her life. Whether a custom-made bracelet is given to her on her 16th birthday or when she has her first child, the exquisite piece of jewelry never loses its significance.
A popular tradition for the Hawaiian people is to give a young woman a Hawaiian bracelet for her 16th birthday. Most of my friends have at least one and my mom and sister also own a piece of the jewelry. In my family, my Grams and Papa (mom’s parents) were the ones to purchase and gift the bracelet to their granddaughters. My female cousins have them and my sister was given one on her birthday. Unfortunately, Grams and Papa both passed away before my 16th birthday, so I thought I lost out on the tradition. However, this year on my 18th birthday (another milestone), my parents gave me my own bracelet with an engraving from Grams and Papa dated on my 16th birthday. The gift was so special and I know I’ll treasure this bracelet as long as I live and pass the tradition down to my daughter.