The Craft
Whether it’s a pahoa (dagger), ihe (spear), hina‘i hinalea (fish trap) or poi pounder, the process of making implements is time-consuming. Sometimes it takes more than thirty hours to transform raw materials into a functional, high quality work of art. In ancient times, Hawaiians only had fire, stone adzes and files made of coral, stone, and sea urchin spine to work with. Yet they crafted such beautiful, functional implements. “Even with power tools, I sometimes have difficulty matching their skill,” says Umi. Each of the pieces Umi crafts bears his trademark cluster of four isosceles triangles, a symbol that’s also tattooed on his chest.

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