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Stone Pestle (USA)

This is a Stone Pestle.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of Natural History as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 19th century. Its medium is carved stone.

Hawaiians did not often trade, sell, or give away objects that were employed every day, such as poi pounders and other implements for preparing food. Even after such items became technologically obsolete, they were usually kept in families as heirlooms. The most important tool for everyday use was the pounder for preparing poi, a vegetable staple made from the steamed, pounded, and slightly fermented corm of the kalo plant. Poi, the staff of life, was eaten in large amounts each day, and its preparation required one or more stone food pounders, pohaku ku`i poi, and a large wooden pounding board. This knobbed style of pounder is designed to be grasped by the neck and is characteristic of the islands of O`ahu and Hawai`i. This large example weighs 4.3 kg (9½ lbs) and probably served for the first stage of beating to break down the whole tuber.

It is credited Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, E11043.

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Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

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Its dimensions are

H x Diam: 24.1 x 15.9 cm (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Stone Pestle (USA) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 February 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>