Household Items

Utensils, receptacles, containers, and tools were created for the storage and completion of all tasks and chores. Containers were made of wood, gourds, and natural material that was woven or plaited. These containers were often covered with natural fibers so that they could be suspended from the rafters. Food, clothing, and other items were placed in containers and hung as Hawaiians did not store many things on the floor. Tools were made of a variety of hardwoods and stone.


thumb `Apu - Made from coconut shells were used for various beverages, but particularly `awa, the beverage of the gods. Both fibers and the rough outer shell of the coconut were carefully sanded away, revealing the fine-grained inner shell, which can attain a highly polished finish. A cord was often attached so that it could be suspended from the malo, or `auamo for personal use and convenience.

Material: Coconut halves
Size: Varies


thumb Door stop - a contemporary item used to keep doors open

Material: Brick covered with lauhala
Size: 4 x 8 inches


thumb Niho oki - were used for a variety of tasks, e.g., carving, cutting hair, removing outer bark from paper mulberry, preparing food, etc.

Material: Koa and tiger shark or bull shark teeth
Size: 4.5 x 3.75 inches


thumb Coconut grater - this is a contemporary item used for grating the meat of the coconut.

Material: Koa and stainless steel grater.
Size: Varies


thumb Niho `oki - with shark teeth were used to strip outer bark from wauke or mamaki to expose the inner bark to make kapa. Other uses include carving patterns on i`e kuku, shaving and cutting food.

Material: Various types of wood and shark teeth
Size: Varies


thumb Pohaku ku`i `ai - was used to pulverize food such as kalo or `ulu to make poi. The pohaku ku`i was also used to crush items for medicinal purposes or for dyes.

Material: Stone, wood, or ivory
Size: Varies


thumb Pohaku ku`i `ai Kaua`i - as found on the island of Kaua`i.

Material: Stone
Size: Varies


thumb ipu necklace - Container used to hold sea salt, `olena, and `alaea to be mixed with water for hi`uwai.

Material: miniature bottle gourd and linen cord
Size: approximately 2 inches