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Native Intelligence - Where To Buy The Best Hawai'ian Made Goods, Souvenirs And Locally Crafted Gifts On Maui

Published on January 25, 2019 by AlohaCondoRental-dot-com

Native Intelligence - Maui's best shopping for Hawai'ian cultural gifts.

Shopping for and bringing home gifts and souvenirs for friends and family members is often one of the best parts of a vacation. Your vacation to Maui is no exception!

But when you've seen all the run of the mill t-shirts, hats, and plastic tchotchkes (made in China) the idea of bringing home gifts not made in the Hawai'ian islands can lose it's appeal.

That's when a visit to Native Intelligence will inspire you! Native Intelligence is filled to the brim with authentic Hawai'ian culture, local artisan crafted goods and authentic Hawai'ian souvenirs you will be proud to own. Located in the quaint town of Wailuku, this one of a kind shop offers clothing, stationary, jewelry

From the owner's website:

"About Native Intelligence (NI)

Based in Wailuku, Maui – Native Intelligence is more than a traditional retail establishment. The goal of Native Intelligence is to champion cultural traditions, craftsmanship and good designs while perpetuating Hawaiian values. By showcasing local artisans and creatives who strive to protect and evolve the culture, Native Intelligence is an advocate for both culture and community.

Our mission is to create a retail environment allowing customers to experience a wide selection of merchandise that is Hawaiian by definition. Neither a museum nor gallery, Native Intelligence strives to be a constantly evolving retail space that has something for everyone.

Through the various practitioners who try to perfect ancient skills; to new businesses that reflect a contemporary sensibility, Native Intelligence will present the spectrum of what is good in Hawaiian design. Working with community leaders and neighborhood schools, we hope to extend the educational programs and resources beyond our doors. As our name infers, Native Intelligence encourages the efforts of those who exemplify the best and brightest in Hawaii and Polynesia."


NI is more than just a store filled with unique and locally made gifts, it's a treasure and source of culturally inspired supplies used by the local community. Items such as Hula supplies, Kapa and fresh flower leis like no others!

Examples of Leis sold by Native Intelligence!

From L to R Kukunaokalā, Sea grape, Heʻe, and Kukui, Blue Jade Vine (center) and Kukunaokalā, Heʻe berry, Sea Grape, and Waimaka Gula (photos via NI Facebook)

Engage, enjoy and discover with the first ever NI ʻIke film featuring Kumu Kaponoʻai Molitau, as he discusses the sacredness of hula pahu and the profound meaning behind the mele ʻAuʻa ʻIa.

Artful Living!

Be sure to check out their Ni'ihau shell necklaces. These are genuinely one of a kind pieces of art. If you're not familiar with Ni'ihau shell jewelry then you are in for a treat. According to Ni'ihau Cultural Heritage Foundation's website; "Legally, this term refers only to shells actually gathered on the shores of the Forbidden Island. However, the term generally refers to three different shells that are commonly used to make Ni‘ihau shell lei:  kahelelani, momi, and lāiki, as well as a fourth one, kāmoa, which is frequently used to add contrasting color." (p.s. you might have also recently seen actor and native Hawai'ian Jason Momoa wearing a Ni'ihau shell necklace during the week of his Aquaman premier - on the Jimmy Fallon show!)

I think my favorite purchase was this NI Designs Island Chain T-Shirt with the design in the form of a molecular structure. "Based off of a molecular structure, the design of "Island Chain" is united and bonded. Each island is unique, but Hawaiʻi is only Hawaiʻi when all the islands are connected. "All Hawaiʻi stand together." -Mele by Liko Martin"

My other unique purchases include a gorgeous Koa wood hair stick and Breadfruit (or Ulu) block print note cards by Kanaka Prints. But there were so many wonderful items, it was hard to choose.

Visit The Store

Plan your visit to Native Intelligence while visiting Maui, but if you cannot, then be sure to visit their website. There you'll find an assortment of items for sale as well as more information about their wonderful business. Wailuku is a sweet town in Maui that is worth strolling around. You'll love getting out of the 'busy' towns of Kihei and Lahaina to enjoy the quieter life in Wailuku!

If you love regular doses of eye candy, then make sure and follow Native Intelligence on Instagram and Facebook!


Address: 1980 Main St #2 Wailuku, HI 96793

Phone: (808) 249-2421

Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00-5:00, Saturday: 10:00-4:00, Sunday: Closed

Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide or Maui Events Calendar!


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Native Intelligence - Where To Buy Hawai'ian Made Goods, Souvenirs And Locally Crafted Gifts On Maui www.AlohaCondoRental.com Vacation Rental By Owner in Beautiful Maui #BookDirect
Meet The Author
We are Laurie (Lali) & Jeff, owners of Kihei Akahi unit DG13. Owning a home on Maui has been a dream from the first time Laurie set foot on the island more than 20 years ago. Year after year we have traveled here to enjoy all that Maui has to offer. It’s a magical place that calls us back time after time. Laurie’s affinity with the Hawaiian islands extends beyond just vacationing and goes back two generations. Tutu, Laurie’s grandmother came to Oahu with with her husband Robert in the 1940’s, invited by Elizabeth Arden to open her first salon at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. Leilani, Laurie’s mom, was born in Honolulu in April of 1941. Later that year, on the morning of December 7th, while her father was golfing at Pearl Harbor Golf Course the bombing of Pearl Harbor started. Tutu and baby Leilani stayed in Honolulu while Bob returned to San Francisco and began work as a civil servant. Transportation from the islands to the Mainland was restricted and Tutu and Leilani were unable to return to their previous home on the mainland for months. Tutu had spunk and was tenacious! She wrote President Roosevelt repeatedly imploring him for help on their return passage. Eventually, she received a letter from President Roosevelt’s secretary and was granted passage back to San Francisco. It wasn’t until 2004 when Leilani was able to make Maui her second home. She also owns a condo in Kihei Akahi! In 2017 Laurie followed suit. There’s just something about Maui that is magical and keeps drawing this family back. What we do when we’re not on Maui family photo Our full-time home is a small farm in Calistoga in the Napa Valley, California. Jeff is a 7th generation Calistogan. His family was instrumental in the formation of our town. He is a realtor specializing in the wine industry and his business focus is on Pinot Noir vineyards, wineries and high end wine country estates. He spends much of his free time fishing and camping in our 1968 Airstream trailer. Laurie is an artist and dabbles in a variety of media. Fiber arts and textiles occupy most of her artistic endeavors and includes spinning wool or silk on one of her many spinning wheels, weaving, knitting or dyeing fibers. When not playing in the fiber arts world, she practices yoga, swims and is an avid gardener and beekeeper. Married 28 years, we have two adult children (Kara & Casey) and one very spoiled Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix named Frankie.
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