A mid-19th century kou wood calabash, substantial in size, is in excellent condition for its age, and has a significant presence. The bowl has three pewa, “butterfly,” patches along the bottom and resin work that is visible. The diameter is 14” and the circumference is 46”. Kou wood was used because of its workability and fine grain. It did not impart a bad taste to food as did some of the other woods, such as koa. Kou wood bowls were usually reserved for the ali?i (royalty), while the maka?ainana (commoners) used containers made of hollowed out gourds. The kou tree once was common along the shore, but was attacked in the 1850s by a non-native insect that almost wiped out the species.