This tee was inspired by one of the original uses for koa wood, building canoes. “Fitted” is featured on the front above the words “Designed in Hawaii” and two crossed koʻi (Hawaiian for adze), which was the tool of choice for carving canoes. Under that is “Kalai Waʻa” which is a term that indicates a master canoe builder, one whose responsibility it is to bring the canoe to life. Printed on both sleeves is an illustration of an ʻelepaio on a koa tree branch. The ʻelepaio is a native Hawaiian bird that is commonly found near fallen koa trees that are infested with insects. With this knowledge, the Kalai Waʻa would be able to find the best fallen koa trees for carving into canoes, since the good trees wouldn’t have insects and therefore wouldn’t have any ʻelepaio near them.

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