A Heart-Warming Story of Makahiki

Maui's Most Hawaiian Hotel Celebrates a Lost Life During Makahiki Season

A Heart-Warming Story of Makahiki

The Hawaiian Makahiki season is celebrated today without parallel at the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, on Maui. There, employees come together for months—beginning in November—to craft an array of gifts to present to the “king” and “queen” after the New Year. This family-friendly resort holds a week-long series of festivities, including a parade, arts and cultural demonstrations, and a dinner feast open to guests and locals at the end of Makahiki.


This year, a special story will be highlighted during the Makahiki season, which unfolded during last year’s event. It’s a heart-warming tale of a young boy who passed too soon, and a gift his family made in his name.


Ka‘ilila‘au Lindsey died in an accident at the age of 11, seven years ago. His family decided to donate a special, 100-foot tree found on their property in their son’s honor to the hotel.  The 32-foot, four man canoe was carved over 4 months as a part of the Po‘okela cultural enrichment program at KBH, under the guidance of master builder Charlie Nolan.


Once completed, the canoe was presented last March at the end of Makahiki, where it was blessed before being rowed out to sea, carrying the ashes of Ka‘ilila‘au, where they were scattered. The vessel is now being used for educational purposes, and for visitors of the hotel.


To see the canoe, you can visit and stay at the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel and partake in their cultural program. If you’d like to hear more about the story of the canoe, tune in to KGMB this Thanksgiving at 7:00 p.m. to watch “A Journey of Spirit”, a locally-produced show about the canoe and program. (The show will re-broadcast on Nov. 27 at 6:00 p.m.)

The canoe was presented last March at the end of Makahiki, where it was blessed before being rowed out to sea, carrying the ashes of Ka‘ilila‘au, where they were scattered.