Natives used the magnificent wood to craft sculpted images of gods, build canoes, surfboards, paddles, and spears. The Koa tree is the monarch of the Hawaiian forest and can reach between 80-100 feet in height with a diameter of more than 5 feet. Several canoes could be carved from just one of these massive trees. Hawaiians believed that the brave, warrior-like Mana (spiritual energy) of Koa would be reflected in their canoes and sailors. The Koa voyaging canoes became the Polynesian fleet, which navigated the Pacific a thousand years before Columbus discovered the new world.
Today the enchanted wood of the Koa tree is still highly valued because of its wonderful colors and spectacular grain. It is used to build very expensive furniture, picture frames and many crafts as well as musical instruments.
Gaining as much as an inch in diameter per year, Koa is the one of the fastest growing trees in Hawaii. Unfortunately, because of logging, clearing highland forests for cattle farming and lack of reforestation, Koa has been depleted and is considered endangered.
The life of many birds and insects as well as a large variety of plants depends on the magnificent Koa tree.
Menehune boy Koa and his Pueo (owl) were created in honor of Koa, the Hawaiian King of Trees.
Here is part of Koa’s and Pueo’s story:
Koa (Strength) & Pueo (Owl)
Birth Date: Lanuali 21, 2013 (01/21/13)
Koa climbs higher and higher up the mountain into the Hawaiian forest, rejoicing in the splendors of nature. Koa is named after the Hawaiian King of Trees. Embracing the brave, fearless Mana (spiritual energy) of the magnificent Koa tree, he welcomes life’s challenges with an open heart, knowing how much he can grow from the valuable lessons they contain.
Pueo is Koa’s sacred Aumakua (guardian spirit). Pueo appears whenever Koa calls on her. She lands on Koa’s right arm, where he greets her with love and respect. Koa knows that Pueo carries Mana, supernatural powers.
At important times of change, she sends messages to Koa through visions and dreams. Koa always follows Pueo’s guidance, knowing that it will keep him and his Menehune Ohana (family) save from all harm and lead them to happiness and good fortune.