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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Outlaw Paisley Wales

(Josey's foppish brother.) The Dior tie below can rightfully be called a whale of a paisley tie; today's tie, from Kahala of Hawaii, is a tie of paisley whales. Yes, the big paisleys have the mouth, eyes, and flukes that unmistakably distinguish them as fanciful cetaceans. I was not familiar with Kahala before getting this tie, but they have been around since 1936. That's longer than Hilo Hattie, who I would have guessed was the oldest purveyor of Hawaiian clothing, but they've only been around since 1963. Kanaka is another Hawaiian brand whose ties turn up on the secondhand market fairly frequently, often made of cotton barkcloth. The name "Kanaka" is taken from "Kanaka Maoli," the indigenous people of Hawaii. In 1993, the US government formally apologized to the Kanaka Maoli for overthrowing their kingdom in 1893 (United States Public Law 103-150). The implicit postscript to the law is, "But we're still keeping it."

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