Stirrup Pounder

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BHK 0106-33

Stirrup Pounder, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

Stone (probably basalt)

H: 12,5 cm (4,9″), D: 7 cm (2,8″), W: 12 cm (4,7″), Weight: 660 gram

This exceptionally fine and rare Stirrup Pounder is called – Pohaku Ku’i ‘Ai Puka or Poi Pounder (Ku’i) in Hawaiian. Apart from a little wear and tear on the bottom after use, this pounder is a fine and undamaged form.

The stirrup pounder is the second of the specialized forms from Kauai and, like the ring pounder, is unique to that island. The descriptive term stirrup was applied locally from a fancied resemblance to the foreign stirrup; and as no specific Hawaiian name has been recorded for this pounder their term may be continued arbitrarily to distinguish it from the other two types of pounders.

The earliest descriptions of Hawaiian poi pounders identify three basic forms: the classic, also known as knobbed or conical pounders, the ring and the stirrup pounders. Several sources including Bennett (1931) agree that the ring and stirrup pounders were found only on Kaua Island.

Age: Est. beg. to mid. 20th Century

Provenance: Danish private collector found it in situ on the island of Kauai in 1987.

Literature: Bennett, W.C. 1931 Archaeology of Kaua‘i. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 80. Bishop Museum Press,Honolulu.Brigham, W.T. 1902 Stone Implements and Stone Work of the Ancient Hawaiians . Memoirs of the Bernice P.Bishop Museum. Vol. I, No. 4. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.Calugay, C. and W.K. McElroy in press (2005)

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