Uncommon Hawaiian Woods



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Family: Anacardiaceae

also known as Hawaiian Sumac

The wood is very strong and lightweight.

Neneleau was used for saddle trees, ox yokes and plows.








also known as Hawaiian Coraltree

Family: Fabaceae
Wiliwili is coarse textured and very lightweight.

Hawaiians used Wiliwili for surfboards, floats and canoe outriggers.







Family: Rubiaceae
Noni wood is medium textured with slight density.

Noni trees offered dyes for tapa cloth.  Leaves, bark and fruits are used medicinally.








Family: Fabaceae
The wood is very dense and coarse textured.
Mamane was used for tool handles, sled runners and fence posts.

The Mamane tree is a primary food source for many endangered Hawaiian birds.








Family: Ebenaceae
also known as Hawaiian Ebony
The wood is dense, fine textured and straight grained.
The word lama means enlightenment.







4"wide by 4 1/2"high
Footed and beautifully spalted.  Slightly pecky with a bit of curl.  Full bark rim.
$ 395




Family: Pandanaceae
also known as Pandanus, Lauhala and Screwpine
The wood from the male trees is dense and solid, while the wood from female trees is soft and fibrous.
Hawaiians still use the leaves for weaving lauhala products.








Family: Fabaceae
The wood is fine grained and more dense than Koa .
Ko'ai'a was used for tapa beaters, paddles and spears.










Family: Myoporum
also known as False Sandalwood
The wood is fine grained and hard. The sandalwood-like scent dissipates much sooner than Ili'ahi.
Nai'o was used for fishing torches and logs were used in early Hawaiian buildings.







Family: Rhamnaceae
This is a rare native tree found only in the Hawaiian islands.  The wood is very dense and sinks in water.
It was valued by the Hawaiians as a tool wood - o'o bars, spears and mallets.
This was a standing dead tree. It is the only Kauila that Kelly has acquired and ever expects to see.
There are two species of Kauila. This is the alphitonia variety - rare but not the endangered species of Kauila.







6 1/2"wide x 4 3/4"high
Natural edge with shimmer.  Dense with natural splits, curl and tri-foot.

This is the Alphitonia not the endangered Columbrina.
$ 795






Family: Boraginaceae
Kou is considered a rare wood. It grows in the coastal regions of the Hawaiian islands.  Kou was almost totally destroyed by a moth in the 1800’s.
This wood was prized by Hawaiian royalty for food use: poi bowls, calabashes and utensils as Kou does not impart a taste to food.
Legend says the Gods choose who can work in Kou. The dust is extremely toxic to most woodworkers.
Kou is occasionally offered to Kelly. Kelly almost exclusively turns the traditional Hawaiian calabash form from Kou.







Kou Umeke, covered

5 1/4"wide by 6 1/4"high
Traditional series, knots, nice contrast
$ 895













Family: Sapindaceae
A'ali'i is indigenous to the tropics and grows on all of the Hawaiian islands except Kaho'olawe.
Botantists have separated A'ali'i into four native species.
There are only 2 species that grow large enough to turn.
The seed capsules are prized for haku styled leis, the wood was traditionally used for house posts, fishing lures and digging sticks (O'o).








Family: Oleaceae
Olopua is the only native olive tree.
The wood is very dense and heavy. The Hawaiians used Olopua for tool handles.
This was a standing dead tree. Kelly acquired one block and cut it into four bowl blanks.
He doesn't expect to have Olopua again.












Family: Santalaceae
Ili'ahi (Hawaiian Sandalwood) was harvested and exported prior to 1845.
Hawaiian Sandalwood had no significant value to the islanders and was nearly decimated within 30 years.
With no planting of new seedlings or forest management of these trees, the supply became exhausted.
This is the first sandalwood Kelly has acquired in his 20 years as a professional turner. It is rare!






Pheasant Wood




Family: Fabaceae
This is not a common tree. Pheasant Wood has beautiful yellow flowers that bloom in late fall.
It is mostly found as an ornamental yard tree. One tree of note stands at the entrance to Iolani Palace in Honolulu.
Recently Kelly acquired Pheasant Wood branches trimmed away from power lines.
Prior to that Kelly has had Pheasant Wood in the studio one other time.
The grain is stunning. Kelly says it is exciting to see what he can expose in the grain of this wood.
Kelly considers this a premium, very difficult to obtain wood.