Where to buy Hawaii’s Merrie Monarch hula festival posters


You ask. We answer.

HAWAII Magazine reader Edd Kogan of Oak Ridge, Tenn. writes:

Where I can view and purchase the 2009 Merrie Monarch Festival poster online? I collect them, and used to get them at a store in Hilo.

While this year’s edition of the annual Big Island of Hawaii hula festival is over, demand for Merrie Monarch souvenirs is still on. Posters from each year’s fest have always been popular collectibles among those who want a little Merrie Monarch in their lives all year long. The good news if you’re interested in buying one, but can’t fly to Hilo? The artist will mail it to you.

Big Island artist and clothing designer Nelson Makua was commissioned to create the official 2009 poster—the sixth he has designed in the last seven years of the fest. You can view and purchase the 2009 poster—and posters from previous years—on the website of Makua’s Hawaiian clothing line Na Makua.

Figures from Hawaiian mythology have been favorite subjects of Makua’s posters, and a nod to the Merrie Monarch Festival’s cultural roots. Previous Makua posters depicted volcano goddess Pele, Pele’s sister Hiiaka and pig god Kamapuaa. This year’s poster (pictured left) illustrates the legend of Ohia and Lehua, mortals whose undying love led them to be joined forever in the form of the ohia lehua tree.

Makua’s website notes that the posters are produced in “very limited quantities” so order your 2009 poster soon. Otherwise, we found a few posters sold through online auction house Ebay—albeit at slightly higher prices. 

Categories: Culture, Hawai‘i Island, Shopping