“Makini” in Hawaiian means a group of spears tied together, used as a battering ram in war. It also has a meaning of many deaths; death dealing. There are 2 different stories of what these gourd masks were actually used for. One popular belief was that the helmets were worn by a secret warrior society entrusted with the protection of the highest ali’i (chiefs) of ancient Hawaii. With this theory, it is said that the crest was made out of ‘uki (or a tough sedge). The term “ikaika” (which translates to ‘strong’) became popular in the early-mid 80’s when A brand called Master Graphics and another brand called Hawaiian Strength ran t-shirt’s with the word Ikaika Warrior and a muscular figure wearing a gourd mask.
Even to this day, you may see these hanging from a rear view mirror as an ornamental piece, or worn as a necklace. The other story is that the mākini were worn by moʻo Lono (the Lono priests) as part of their ceremonies for the Makahiki season. This goes along with all the theories of Captain Cook being perceived as Lono returning to the islands, as depicted in John Webber’s painting (refer to picture) of a canoe full of mo’o Lono, in which one of the priests appears to be holding a statue of the God Lono.
This drop by Fitted Hawaii consists of the Makini hat, along with a matching white long sleeve t-shirt and a red short sleeve t-shirt. The hat – The front embroidery is where the gourd would have been cut out for the eyes. Around the base of the whole hat is a water based tattoo print to signify strength. The bill has embroidery of strings that would have been the place for the kapa. On the crown of the hat is intricate feather embroidery that has taken the place of the ‘uki grass. Both tees feature the same feather pattern seen on the hat on the backside of the each shirt. The long sleeve has a tribal tattoo pattern up and down each sleeve and the short sleeve has the same pattern running from bottom seam to arm pit.
Fitted Hawaii will be releasing the pack on June 11th. Check out the tees after the jump.