Gordon Tang lidded Kou umeke 4 x 6 x 6 395., with pewas (butterfly patches) 1640-kou
Gordon’s traditional Hawaiian shapes are widely appreciated by collectors of Hawaiiana both for functional and decorative purposes. A number of people collect his bowls for poi supper, luckies!
Though koa is a more familiar wood in present times, in ancient times, kou was preferred, especially for poi.
From the Bishop Museum Ethnobotany Database:
Hawaiian Name(s): kou
Scientific Name: Cordia subcordata
Vernacular Name: none
Status: Polynesian introduction
Description: Small trees 5-7 m tall.
Habitat Found on all main islands, sparringly naturalized at low elevation, in dry coastal areas (Wagner et al. 1990:392–4).
Non Medicinal Uses: Soft but durable wood made into bowls (‘umeke) & utensils, does not give off flavor (Krauss 1993:22), special ‘umeke mana ‘ai for first–born children made sometimes of kou that had been planted over afterbirths of grandparents (Krauss 1993:23); leaves for dye (Krauss 1993:65). Planted as shade trees near homes and the flowers used for lei (Handy et al. 1972:232), seeds eaten (Wagner et al. 1990:394).
Specific gravity of wood: 0.45
Dye Color and Parts: Warm brown (senescent leaves)
Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus: near Halekini
The actual size is 4 x 6 x 4″. The specifications tab includes the size and weight when packed for shipping. 1640-kou