Honu, The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

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Not long ago, I came across several honu—or Hawaiian green sea turtles—as I walked along the beach in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Laying calmly on the sand, seeming to bask in the warm Hawaiian sun, the honu—with its heart shaped grayish brown shell—is a beautiful sight. Swimming in the oceans for over 200 million years, honu are animals of great significance to the Native Hawaiians. Some believe the honu served as guides to the first Polynesian voyagers who came to Hawaii. Others consider the honu an aumakua or guardian spirit. Not only is the honu is considered a bearer of good luck, but it is seen as a monster to be released to fight enemies, a living canoe that brings lovers together, the foundation of the islands, and more!

Seeing one on the sand or playing in the waves is very special indeed, but please be respectful and observe them from a distance. Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are a threatened species and disturbing them in any way is a violation of both state and federal law (i.e. the Endangered Species Act). While touching them is a definite no-no, getting a glimpse of these majestic turtles is truly a breathtaking experience. On Oahu, you might see honu sun-bathing regularly at Laniakea Beach off of Kamehameha Highway. During the day, there are usually several turtles on the beach and several volunteers who provide valuable information and help ensure that the honu are not disturbed.

Here at Shops of Hawaii, we celebrate the honu in many ways. You'll find it on our exclusive honu beach towel, salt and pepper shakers, on 'ukulele, plush, shot glasses, wooden bowls, and even featured on this beautiful Sun Garden Turtle Tote. We hope you enjoy these majestic creatures as much as we do and be sure to take home some beautiful honu themed gifts!

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