Ti Leaf Collection
Here we see the many varieties that artist Sabado has created to adorn our homes and offices. In the islands, we see ti leaves, some green, and red surround many of the properties in and around island homes. Initially, in Hawaiian customs, the leaves were used to ward off spirits and protect those within.
The Hawaiians considered the plant the sacred symbol of the god Lono and was an emblem of divine power. The green leaves, which are called la'i, were used in rituals of cleansing and rendering free of evil spirits by the kahuna pule heiau, the temple priests, and in rituals of healing by the kahuna lapa'au, the medical experts. Ti leaves were used to oki, to cut and to release, whatever bound spirits to this world, to allow them to go on to their proper place. Modern-day kahuna, priests, still wear a lei of two ti leaves tied together at the back of the neck or carry a single leaf, almost as an emblem of their profession or rank.