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Lamps and Bowls

All ancient cultures had lamps for light and bowls for grinding called mortars. The Hawaiians used the oil from the kukui nut as a fuel in lamps. Almost any cup or carved basin would do. Broken poi pounders were fashioned into lamps. Rough stones were pecked so that a bowl would be fashioned to hold oil. A simple wick consisting of a bamboo stick with kukui nuts strung together worked fine. Mortars could be small or large. Used to grind leaves and plant material for dye or food, wooden or stone pestles would be used with the mortar. Other bowls such as in the three pictures below were used by kahuna or spiritual men to cast spells or conduct rituals now long forgotten.
This mortar stands about 8" tall and would have been used for grinding. A stone or wooden pestle would have been used to grind up items for food, dye or medicine.
This lamp is carved out a rough stone. Some lamps were finely shaped and others were bowls carved into rocks like this one.
These two bait bowls were used to mash up bait for fishing. Both stones are nicely carved and together would make a stone bowl.
This is a good view of the "hole" of the stone. The stone could be held with one hand and measures slightly bigger than an ulumaika stone.
As noted on this bowl, stones catalogued by museums are often marked with white letters and/or numbers.
These pictures are two different types of lamps. The lamp on the left was carved out of the base of a broken poi pounder. The lamp on the right is made out of a roughly carved stone with not much more than a small indention to place the kukui nut oil.
This is the close up side view of a broken poi pounder that was converted into a lamp.
The Gallery at Hawaiian Stones & Artifacts
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