26 ZAGAT score extraordinary to perfection 16 reviews beautiful island made art work

Under the Koa Tree~ MADE IN HAWAII ~ Gallery and Gift Shop

we are located aboveYard House Restaurant, next toRuths Chris Steak House

Visit us today to view these beautiful treasures on display in our store

Kukui Aleurites Moluccana, Candlenut Tree

This common tree of the windward and leeward lowland forests forms groves that are easily distinguished by the light gray-green leaves that flutter in the wind. It is considered to have been introduced by early settlers of Hawaii and was highly valued for the oily kernel in the hard shell of the seed nut. These kernels were strung on a palm leaf midrib and burned as candles, thus the name candle nut. The oil was sometimes pressed out of the nut and burned with a tapa wick for light. The nuts were also roasted and used as a condiment at meals. The bark was used as a dye for fishnets and handlines and also for coloring the canoe black. The wood is very soft and rots easily.

Norfolk Island PineAraucaria Heterophylla

This is a symmetrical evergreen tree brought to Hawaii by Captain Cook from Norfolk Island near Australia. These trees are not true pines. They do not have needles like a pine, but overlapping scale-like leaves about one half inch long. These trees, up to 200 feet tall, are used in landscaping and as Christmas trees. The closely related Cook Pine comes from the Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Captain Cook said upon approaching the island, They had the appearance of tall pines which occasioned my giving that name to the island. It is difficult to distinguish these two trees apart.

The milo tree provided shade at beach and house site locations at lower elevations. The wood is similar to another Hawaiian wood called kou. Milo is harder to work than kou, but was also used to make calabashes by the Hawaiians. It is still prized by contemporary bowl makers for its color and polish.

Probably the most ancient tree species on our islands, koa has long been recognized as a high quality wood prized for its hardness, strength, straight bole, and close beautiful grain which would not warp even after years in sea water. These characteristics led to its primary use as the much preferred material for canoe building, an enterprise crucial to Polynesian survival.

Koas use was restricted to royalty and each step in the canoe-making process was overseen by canoe-making priests. Koa was also used for the huge, heavy surfboards of royalty. Duke Kahanamoku, widely recognized as the Father of Modern Surfing, also used these koa surfboards. Other uses included canoe paddles, dyes from the bark, and medicines from the leaves. Early Portuguese made the first ukuleles from carefully selected koa. The wood was valuable and thus was considered suitable payment for taxes, as gifts, and for sacrifice. It was associated with wealth and well-being and the trees were recognized as long lived monarchs of the forests, characteristics naturally imparted to people through association and possession of the wood.

Today, koa is known as the Mahogany of the Hawaiian Islands and can be seen as woodwork and furniture in Hawaiis palaces, and some of the finer hotels and restaurants. Its golden, reddish-brown grain is revered, but not always affordable. Koa is at a premium because the large tracts of koa forests which covered much of the upper slopes of the Hawaiian Islands, have fallen victim to the ravages of cattle and their unchecked grazing. Reforestation of koa stands has been an ongoing project of The Kamehameha Schools and various other land owners. With careful planning and thoughtful legislation, this invaluable Hawaiian resource will live on into perpetuity.

We trust that you will care for and appreciate this specimen and recognize it as an increasingly unique and valuable piece of Hawaii. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. E ola Koalet him live, with the health, wealth and well-being of a Koa Tree!

Under The Koa Tree is an art gallery located in Waikiki offering koa wood, prints, photos, photography, frames, jewelry, glass, turtles, honu, titanium rings, sculptures and more by such artists as Rosalie Prussing, Clark Little, and Mike Field in Honolulu Oahu Hawaii