Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

What is conch shell blowing

Have you ever seen and heard someone blowing into a large shell? In Hawaii this will often this will be at sunset or at a luau. It is called a Hawaiian conch shell, or Pu, which is blown into at ceremonial occasions. Blowing the Pu is steeped in Hawaiian tradition and culture, so please be respectful when watching. If you intend to blow a conch shell, please do some research as to how to do so respectfully.

I have seen conch shells for sale at the Maui swap meet in Kahului, but also random markets. Some shells are easier to blow than others. The conch shell is either from the Triton’s trumpet snail or the Horned Helmet (cassis cornuta), both of which are found at scuba depths in Hawaiian waters.

The other night we had a sunset picnic on the lawn next to Kihei Surfside (which is a public grassy park, maintained by the Kihei Surfside homeowners). Per usual at sunset there were a number of guests who got up with their conch shells and blew them for sunset. Their timing was a little off, but it sure was beautiful.

Kihei Surfside park

Some of you may remember, we used to own a condo at Kihei Surfside which we sold in 2020 during the height of Covid. The Kihei Surfside has a long-term lease of DLNR land which it maintains. It is a public lawn. To access, park in the gravel lot behind the Mana Kai and either walk through the parking lot to the ocean and follow the ocean path North, or follow the signs between the Kihei Surfside parking lot and the Kaho’olawe commission’s baseyard. Note the gazebo and picnic tables are still on private (Kihei Surfside) land. The lawn beyond is public space. This is a beautiful spot to enjoy sunset.

a beautiful sunset in South Maui
You can often see conches being blown for sunset at Kihei Surfside’s lawn

The Maui Swap Meet

The Maui Swap Meet is a flea market that has been around since the early 80s. It takes place Saturday mornings 8am-1pm on the University of Hawaii campus (MACC side). It can get hot and there is little shade, so come prepared.