CANOE BUILDING AND KOA A WOOD THAT IS MUCH SOUGHT AFTER
Koa wood is much sort after and if one has the time and endurance to work with Koa - the finish product is always a work of art and endurance. They say that for a Koa tree to mature 40 feet takes a hundred years - the arborist can say more about this.
I was first introduce to some samples of Koa product not large but large enough to know that the wood is special. Much like the ebony of Africa and the teakwood of Burma - the Sandalwood of India there is something special about Koa wood.
Recently the Aloha Festival was held at the Presidio of San Francisco - August 7 and 8, 2004. In 1995 when the Aloha Festival was first conceived I remember at building 1243 we had a lot of carving activity going on. I was hooked on carving and it was a nice feeling.
On a huge scale healing poles were carved from Yellow Cedar which once grew in Alaska. No trees are now alive most of them were cut down and used. The story is same about the Koa tree - this tree was disrespected and cut down indiscriminately. Today, some good souls have managed to reforest the Koa siblings but it takes a long time for the Koa tree to stand tall, develop, and mature. I suppose what the gods love they shower much love and when it is ready it is priceless.
I have seen canoe boats made of Koa on the big island and some fine specimens. I have seen some of them on the island of Maui and I am sure other islands too boast of some of the fine boats that are a pleasure to touch, see, and use.
Julian Avilla and his team from PICA have gone out of their way to save a couple of Koa canoes from the old country. One day I know there will be Koa wood found to build Koa boats with contemporary talent that has been passed from the old generations.
Aunty Shirley and Uncle Julian are caring - I know that because I say so. If there is a mandate we can pass on to the young generation filled the manna that the Great Spirit showers on those loved - it is good music, good food, good dancing, good deeds, and may I add the Koa wood.
I love the Koa wood and I love the artifacts that I have seen. One day I will own an Eagle made of Koa wood. I want an Eagle made of Koa wood - just like I have an Eagle made of Redwood. It is about 3 feet tall and it gives me inspiration.
Koa wood is especial it talks to you and it always has something nice to say. Aloha.
Koa ends worn out.
Koa Hull under restoration..
Restored Koa Boat and other artifacts at the Macy Display..
Fine grain Koa Wood..
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