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human history
  • Other Name

    hula puili (Hawaiian)

    Hula implement / Split bamboo (English)

  • Description

    Pū'ili. Hula implement. This is a hula (dance) implement made from a hollow bamboo tube. It features a long and finely split, fringed end that has been slit with a niho 'oki (Tiger shark tooth tool). The base of the tube includes a node where it is handled. There are two perforations at the base where kaula (string, cord) would have been attached. This would be fastened to the dancers wrist when holding the base during hula. The bamboo is a natural, faded yellow.

    It's size is considered larger than the common pū'ili made today in Hawai'i. The diametre and length of the bamboo would be carefully considered as its proportions would be chosen to align with the size of the persons hand when in use. The pū'ili would be held in one hand and act as an extension of the dancers arm. Its use would be directed by the dancers mele or chant creating a rhythmic rattle when tapped across the upper body. It could be used to bring life to the mele or mimic its context. Its kani (sound) can be made unique by the size of the slits. Its kani could be described as a deep rattle, akin to the sounds of a forest.

  • Place
  • Accession Date
    Circa 1894
  • Other Id

    8675 (ethnology)

  • Department
Pū'ili, 8675, Photographed by Denise Baynham, digital, 16… … Read more

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