Kaua`i is an island lacking in huge malls, which can be a great relief for those looking for an escape from big city shopping. What it does have, however, is plenty of small and unique boutiques that offer one of a kind crafts, jewelry, home decor and other trinkets and clothing both locally made and from all over the pacific. Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art, a museum like shop, is one of those boutiques.
Located in Hanalei Center deep in Hanalei Valley, Havaiki is a small shop adorned with tons of artifacts, jewelry and other crafts obtained from the far reaches of Oceania. From carved shaman carriers (made of sea turtle shell), to Ni`ihau shell jewelry, to tikis, necklaces, paddles, and a huge array of other gorgeous things, the shop actually represents a museum.
It all began when the owners, Jim Punter and wife Vicki, both lifelong sailors, began a voyage that was planned to take them from the Virgin Islands through the Panama Canal and into the South Pacific to start a charter sailing business. They took on Dylan Thomas, who now manages the collection, as a deckhand. The trek ended up spanning five years through Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia and all the way to Indonesia.
They began trading useful items such as fishing supplies and tools for local art wherever they went. The shop's collection is made up of about a third of local art and the rest is from the Pacific. Today the Punters are still out sailing and collecting, while Dylan keeps an eye the always changing collection back on Kaua`i.