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Toa wood


joshua wood

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Does anyone know where i can find Toa Wood (Casuarina equisetifolia) for sale? I have had no luck finding any websites that offer it.

 

It is used in a lot of traditional New Zealand and Tongan carving. I have recently been carving replicas of Polynesian war clubs and would like to use more authentic methods and materials. I have been using Macassar ebony – beautiful but not so budget friendly.

 

I tried searching the forums but the search engine requires at least 4 letters.

 

Any input would be very appreciated

 

on a side note: if anybody knows anything about stone woodcarving tools i would be very interested to pick your brain.

 

Thanks

Josh

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Maybe someone at the Bahamas can help you.

It is considered a biological pest on the Islands because it suppresses the growth of native plants and exacerbates coastal erosion.

Sounds like they don't want it.

 

Good luck, Leon.

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Maybe someone at the Bahamas can help you.

It is considered a biological pest on the Islands because it suppresses the growth of native plants and exacerbates coastal erosion.

Sounds like they don't want it.

 

Good luck, Leon.

 

 

Interesting idea. I'll look into that.

 

Thanks Leon

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Well, I'm in New Zealand, carving, and knowing a bit both about Maori carving and today's scene. Toa is something I haven't come across yet. I'd guess New Zealand was a mistake in the original post. Sounds more like something from the islands further up north.

 

On the subject of stone tools, I have seen a youtube vid of a Maori carver making a putorino, I'm nearly sure, using stone tools. (Putorino is a Maori trumpet type. If I'm wrong, and it's not putorino, than it will be one of the other Maori musical instruments, try koauau or nguru.)

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The subject of stone tools, those that Stephen Myhre wrote about in his book "Bone Carving" are styled after old stone carving tools that were made from stone themselves. His tool concept works very well in steel and for my own use has proven to be very adaptable and each one that I have made has been very important to my tool assortment.

 

If the wood you are seeking is considered a nuisance wood in the Florida area and Caribbean is it likely that there is a resource for it in Florida?

 

Janel

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well, I'm in New Zealand, carving, and knowing a bit both about Maori carving and today's scene. Toa is something I haven't come across yet. I'd guess New Zealand was a mistake in the original post. Sounds more like something from the islands further up north.

 

On the subject of stone tools, I have seen a youtube vid of a Maori carver making a putorino, I'm nearly sure, using stone tools. (Putorino is a Maori trumpet type. If I'm wrong, and it's not putorino, than it will be one of the other Maori musical instruments, try koauau or nguru.)

 

hello

 

as you have a few zillion sheep in nz how hard would it be to swap sheep horn for wood or ?

 

im looking for a solid sheep horn contact...

 

michele

usa

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NZ sheep have no horns.

I'm not kidding. The rams are dehorned when very young.

I myself have very big difficulties getting any kind of horn here. (OK, OK, take the laugh as happened.)(To non-English speakers: just skip it, don't pay attention.)

Thing is, here, in NZ all animals that normally have horns are dehorned when about 1/2 year old. Some farms do run the odd breed, preserving the horns, but they are difficult to contact, and to get the horns. There are also countless health regulations that do not help either. There is one farm I know of, on the West Coast of the South Island that has a herd of Indonesian buffaloes. Well, you can get the occasional horn. You also need to pay many hundreds of dollars for one.

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Oh, I don't mind silly humour at all. I suspect quite a few times I happened to be the one that just couldn't resist being silly. It's just there are those that frown upon this kind of thing, and from your remark it wasn't clear which way you lean.

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(Your killing me here Yuri.)

That meant I was laughing at how it went down.

And there are other who have made comical remarks on the forum as well.

Humour, like spice at times, can be not enough or too much.

But I guess we best stop as we are hi-jacking the thread, my apologies Josh.

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Aloha All,

 

 

And now, an attempt to return to topic. The following is excerpted, paraphrased and derived from In Gardens of Hawaii by Marie C. Neil (1965), Emory’s “Legends of Paradise”, US Forest Service bulletins and other sources.

 

Casuarina equisetifolia aka common ironwood, she oak, beefwood…toa. Looking somewhat like pine, it is a native of warm, southern Pacific islands and regions westward to India. Due to the sound of wind blowing through long, slender, drooping dull green needles, it is called “she-oak”. It grows rapidly, especially near the sea, to heights of 120 to 150 feet at the rate of 8 ft/year. Individuals can live for several hundred years. One of the first plantings in Hawaii was in Kapiolani Park, Honolulu (see photos to follow) in 1890 by A.S. Cleghorn, father of Princess Kaiulani.

 

Used primarily as a windbreak near beaches and dunes, it uses all available nutrition to the detriment of other vegetation. The wood, which is red like beef and hard like oak, has many uses beside its primary one, fuel. In Fiji, it serves as tapa beaters (mulberry based fabric); in Australia, war clubs; in most of Polynesia, as a replacement for koa in arts. The bark is used for tanning and dyeing; also as a medicinal astringent.

 

To this tree are attributed mysterious powers. It is said that storms and unfavorable winds will accompany those who take a piece of the wood with them in a boat; in the shadow of the tree at full moon, secrets of the future can be heard.

 

Through out southern Polynesia, the ironwood is known as “the warrior tree” (toa). Tahitians claim that it sprang from the bodies of warriors, whose blood became the red sap, their hair the leaves. According to legend, the first ironwood of Mangaia came from Tonga, where weapons were made of it. Oarangi alone of all Mangaians dared to touch the demon tree, and he was driven by ambition to conquer his fellow chiefs. The tree was felled at night; but it re-erected itself. Two of the men who cut it spat blood the color of its inner bark, and they died and were left unburied in the tall ferns. Again Oarangi tried to fell the tree, but he and all his men died. When Ono of Tonga heard of the failure, he came with his magic spade and dug carefully, exposing the taproot. With a mighty blow, he cut the taproot in two and out popped the head of a demon. With another terrific blow, he split the skull of the demon. To this day, Mangaians will tell you that their groves of ironwood sprang from the chips made by Ono’s magic spade.

 

Fijian legend tells of the sky child whose ironwood staff grew in one night into a tree that reached heaven. He climbed to the sky and helped his father conquer his enemies, then he returned to earth and married the serpent god’s daughter. (Think there’s the subject of a netsuke or two in this one? ;) )

 

The warrior tree has also morphed into a symbol of faithfulness. The Japanese in Hawaii, lacking the cold weather pine of their homeland, sometimes use the ironwood branches as gateway decorations in their New Year’s festival (kadomatsu), in commemoration of Matsue and Teoyo, whose love under the pines increased with years.

 

Mangaia Island, in the Cook group, is/was divided into wedge shaped land divisions that went from ocean to summit. This was somewhat common for Pacific islands as it gave access to ocean and mountain resources to each “puna”. (Hawaiians called these ahapuaa. Coincidentally (?) there are districts called Puna and Punaluu here.) With common boundaries and competition for scarce resources on isolated islands, these kinds of mythology were inevitable.

 

 

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20091021_...top_debate.html

 

Part Two to follow

 

Karl

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