Nicely made vintage Kava Bowl...this one is 11" in diameter and has 8 short legs.....bowl stands just 2 3/4" high.The bowl in which the drink is prepared is called a tanoa or laulau. The former word is the more frequently used. The bowls vary in size up to thirty inches and they stand on short rounded legs varying in number from four to twenty four. It is unusual to find a bowl that has a greater depth than six inches and the majority are perhaps not more than three or four inches deep. A brim of a width varying according to the size of the bowl runs round the top of the tanoa and a flange or sometimes a projecting piece of the original wood is left under the bowl. This is pierced by a hole through which a piece of afa (native sennit) is threaded for suspending the bowl from a house post. The tanoa is usually made from the wood of the ifilele tree (Intsia bijuga), a hard grained timber of a reddish brown colour. When the bowl is finished it is soaked in fresh water for a considerable time to remove the woody smell. 'Ava often was also allowed to remain indefinitely in the tanoa in order that the inside might acquire an enamelled appearance. This enamel or sheen is called tane. In earlier bowls the legs were tapered towards the botton and reduced there to about a half an inch in diameter. Chiefs and orators, high and low, use the same type of tanoa. At ceremonies, the bowl used is that belonging to the chief or orator at whose house the ceremony is being held.
At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
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