The Oregon football program will celebrate Polynesian culture by wearing “Ohana” alternate uniforms during Saturday’s game against UCLA (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
As anyone who watched Disney’s Lilo and Stitch knows, Ohana means family in Hawaiian and Samoan, and the Ducks’ latest alternate uniform is a tribute to just that: the family, unity and voyager spirit of those throughout Polynesia.
The uniforms – which were designed in collaboration between Nike, which includes former Oregon wide receiver and graphic designer Daryle Hawkins, and Hawaii’s own Sig Zan Designs – are black as a nod to the volcanic rock that formed the pacific islands, while the “Action Green” numbers and accents represent the vegetation that grows among the volcanic rock.
Other key details include a woven pattern in the wings and primary logo on the helmet that is supposed to mimic the lauhala (or pandanus leaf) often weaved together to create things such as sails, hats, pillows, fans and other items. That’s carried over to the upper portion of the jersey, bringing to mind the feather cloaks worn by Hawaiian nobility during ceremonies or battle.
Another pattern around the neckline is supposed to invoke a lei, while the helmet and gloves feature a galaxy of stars – including the Southern Cross, a constellation used to navigate the Southern Pacific Ocean.
Oregon has a long history of players of Polynesian descent, including former defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, quarterback Marcus Mariota and offensive tackle Penei Sewell, as well as several current players and coaches, most notably associate head coach Joe Salave’a.
“It’s all these different guys – the best of the best from various cultures – coming together to form a new family,” Hawkins said in a statement.
Check out more photos of Oregon’s “Ohana” alternate uniforms below:
Photos courtesy of @GoDucks on Twitter.