Pu’ili Workshop

This past weekend we were privileged to be invited to Ala Kukui in Hana to work on bamboo.
We made pu ‘ohe (bamboo trumpets) and ‘ohe hano ihu (bamboo nose flutes) with the children while the adults made pu’ili.

There was lots of sanding involved.

These days, we’re so lucky to be able to go to the store and purchase sand paper. In the old days, before starting a project, one had to gather all the supplies and make their tools first!

For the job of sanding, different grades of stone or coral could have been used along with fish skins (kala or shark) and ulu leaves for fine sanding.

Thanks goodness for the electric drill!

This hand powered drill is called nao wili. The tips, made from stone or shell, dull quickly and needed to be changed out often.


Stripping the teeth is the most challenging part of making pu’ili. Fortunately, every student did an excellent job and all the pu’ili turned out so nice.


It’s always important to remember how things were first made. How else can we truely appreciate them?

Auli’i and her beautiful pu’ili…..they sounded beautiful too!

Mahalo to everyone at Ala Kukui for the warm hospitality and to all the students for their hard work!