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Does bad luck come from removing Hawaiian artifacts?

Ask the Big Kahuna

“Answering the most common visitor questions”


My beautiful sister sent us a wonderful housewarming gift from Hawaii. It is a coconut shell top with bamboo chimes. We hung it out back in our tree of our new home, but since we moved in and hung the gift, we have been hit with one unusual bad event after another. Would this be a coincidence or should we gracefully return the bird house/chime?? My sister lives in Hawaii and my husband lived there years ago and knows of the bad luck that happens when artifacts are removed from your beautiful island. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

French Lick, Indiana


Aloha Cheryl,

Mahalo for sending your question…

The Big Kahuna has no way of knowing whether or not the bird house/chime carries curses or blessings. Does it attract robins or ravens?

It couldn’t hurt to return the bird house/chime (as long as no feelings are hurt), if the item were actually made in Hawaii of Hawaii raw materials (and not an import from Taiwan, China, or somewhere else). I don’t know where you would return a bird house/chime, but the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park receives many such items, mostly kidnapped lava rocks.

The best practice is to leave everything you find in Hawaii in Hawaii. The saying to “Take only pictures; leave only footprints” applies well in Hawaii. Besides, the islands were formed by lava. So, if everyone who left Hawaii took rocks, soon there would be no Hawaii left to visit. The Big Kahuna says: “Take only gifts you are given (like flower lei’s); and leave only with Aloha.”

Perhaps the gift that was sent out of love is fine and it is your new house itself that needs a blessing.

For more about Hawaiian superstitions and the Volcanoes National Park address for returning items, see: Superstitions

Big Kahuna