Lauhala Strippers

Our new batch of koe or handheld lauhala strippers are done. Mahalo to Junior’s Jewels for the beautiful craftsmanship (Junior does all our koa wood items).
These koe have a neat feature where the blades are stored inside the plug.

This is how you would use this type of stripper. I love the handheld ones because they are so compact and easy to use.

Since we’re on the subject of lauhala weaving, here are a few of the very first items I made. I started weaving in 1997 while attending the lauhala conference Ka Ulu Lauhala o Kona. It’s an awesome experience to be totally emmersed in weaving, learning from na kupuna and just listening to their stories….. I highly recommend attending if at all possible.

This is my first papale done under the guidance of na kumu Lynne Hanks and Aunty Malu. The hatband was made for me by my friend and hula sister U’i Naho’olewa. So special.

Some tools of the trade.
The hat block is called lona, pahu or ipu.
By looking at the shape, it’s easy to see how ipu were used to shape hats. I’ve made a couple of keiki hats from ipu….it worked perfectly.
The little stick tools called hi’a are used to push and pull lauhala strips into tight places.

Some of my papale.

Before anyone even asks, I don’t sell any hats or baskets. I weave purely for pleasure. I haven’t woven anything in a few years…..only because to me, weaving becomes like reading a book. I have to know how it’s gonna end up, forget about working, eating, bathing, sleeping….must finish…..

Still, my New Years resolution is going to be start weaving again (in moderation) and attending Ka Ulu Lauhala 2009.

Today’s ‘Olelo No’eau: Puna paia ‘ala i ka hala/Puna, with walls fragrant with pandanus blossoms. Puna, Hawai’i, is a place of hala and lehula forests. In olden days the people would stick the bracts of hala into the thatching of their houses to bring some of the fragrance indoors.