The Paddle CarverTalk Story: Episode 1
The Craft of Paddle Carving
A skilled carver shares his spiritual Koa wood craftsmanship
Wood carving is a meticulous endeavour, requiring years of practice and patience to master the art. Ancient Hawaiians turned to the land’s natural resources, such as wood, for many uses: tools, weapons, jewelry and even methods of transportation, like outrigger canoes or “wa’a kaukahi.” The fruitful gifts of trees such as the Koa and ‘ohi’a were accepted with the Hawaiian people’s endless gratitude, and a spiritual connection to these trees grew, even becoming sources for myth and legend. Calisto Palos Junior shares this spiritual connection with his carvings which he creates from these very same Koa trees. Calisto learned to carve over 40 years ago, crafting paddles and both small and large “wa’a kaukahi.” He harbors a special respect for the land and only carves from fallen trees, never cutting from a living one. Calisto’s graceful and masterful art of carving keeps Hawaiian culture and tradition alive today.
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