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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Samoan Style Kava Bowl/Tanoa
Samoan Style Kava Bowl/Tanoa

Joined: Aug 28, 2010
Posts: 2
From: Seattle
Posted: 2010-08-28 6:39 pm   Permalink

Hey guys, been a fan for a long time, actually did my first Tiki in Iraq this last tour, not as awesome as you guys, but I kept all of your work in mind while I made it (pics below, please excuse the rough edges, Iraqi wood sucks!). My question, as the title imply's, I would like to know if any of you have had worked on a bowl similar in design to the kava bowls that are found throughout the south pacific. Just wonderin if anyone has gone down this road, since I would like to atempt one myself, just wondering if anyone had any ideas. Thanks in advance if anyone can offer advice or pics of there own work, after all, you all are the best wood workers I know!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1560
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2010-08-28 6:47 pm   Permalink

Thanks, my brother, for your service to our country --

Oh yeah, great tiki too.

Sorry, I can't help you with the Kava bowl question as I'm strictly a painter; I'd refer to whatever S.Pacific art books I could find - and I'm sure you'll get several responses here (some in a few minutes!)

Take care and Thanks for sharing. G

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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3755
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2010-08-28 11:41 pm   Permalink

Your name implies that you are Samoan. practice practice practice. don't give up.
Thank you for fighting for American ideals.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 24, 2010
Posts: 43
From: Bakersfield, CA
Posted: 2010-08-29 07:23 am   Permalink

What sort of wood is it your working with anyways? Just curious.

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Joined: Aug 28, 2010
Posts: 2
From: Seattle
Posted: 2010-08-29 09:54 am   Permalink

As far as the wood goes, thats actually one of my main questions. What kind would one recomend? where would one obtain said recomended piece? How big? and the bowl's that I have seen are black, they say that its black because it got buried in the mud? any one know how that works? just general questions really, more interested in things like that, once I have an idea as to the process, I think i'll just start taking away wood until it looks like a bowl! thanks again guys.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 22, 2006
Posts: 1886
From: Aotearoa / NZ
Posted: 2010-09-04 3:45 pm   Permalink

I have a Fijian and a Samoan bowl and recently obtained some kava to take them for a test drive. Just waiting for the right occasion...I'm hoping to make the kava ceremony an integral part of my home tiki bar experience eventually.

Lots of good info here:

Another site mentions the wood used for Samoan and Fijian bowls is a local hardwood called ifilele (Afzelia Bijuga, but a little further poking around reveals this species is highly endangered due to its popularity for souvenir carvers and only a few stands remain. Best bet is to find the the cleanest, roundest hardwood log you can locally...I would imagine anything heavy and densely-grained would work. Carving wise, wood ain't my area of expertise but I think those curved-back gouges would work well for making bowls.
I'd probably also go Fijian over Samoan if carving my own...have you seen how many legs those things have?

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