Carving Kava

I’ve been working with some images taken in Fiji by one of the Lecturers in the Arts Faculty – Dr Matt Tomlinson. During our discussions, my interest in all things woodworking came out, and he’s sent me some photos of some traditional woodworking related to an area he has been researching – traditions and the culture surrounding Kava  – both its consumption – use in different traditional roles, and its preparation.

Reading the Wikipedia about Kava, and I wonder if it can be bottled and sold – sounds like a very interesting substance.

However, it is the production of the Kava preparation bowl that is the real topic here.  These photos were taken in May 09 on the island of Kabara, which is in the Lau chain of eastern Fiji. It’s the traditional homeland of carvers of kava bowls made from Vesi wood (Intsia Bijuga), but the island has been badly deforested, and is rapidly running out of Vesi.

One Response

  1. There’s a black market for the smugglers of Kava in the Top End, but there are also legitimate places you can try it, we have one here in Adelaide. Imagine you diluted some mud and had some fibrous suspended solids in there, and you drink that. Not very nice really, but worth the try.

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