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Hawaiian Items

Prior to the introduction of Europeans, there were an estimated 300,000 to 800,000 native peoples residing on the Hawaiian islands. Their exact origins remain unclear, but their arts and crafts tradition reflects a sensibility that is irrefutably original.

Hawaiian ethnographic and indigenous artifacts are found in many of top museums worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the British Museum in London. Some of these objects, such as a turtle pendant sculpted from a sperm whale tooth, were acquired as far back as the 16th century when British explorer Captain James Cook first arrived on the islands.

Indigenous Hawaiian artifacts include mythological sculptures, musical instruments, capes and headdresses, and jewelry items. They have been appreciated for centuries by cultures around the world, and been featured in many prominent collections, including that of Nelson Rockefeller and King George IV. Many of the oldest examples of Hawaiian artifacts are housed in museums, but occasionally, pieces come up for auction. Later examples of Hawaiian indigenous artifacts are easier to acquire and also significantly more affordable.


Quick Facts

  • In 2015, nearly 1,200 pounds of artifacts were recovered from a shipwreck belonging to King Kamehameha of Hawaii. The discovery included silverware, precious metals, and gemstones
  • The native peoples of Hawaii have experienced much hardship in recent centuries after the arrival and subsequent colonization of Europeans. In the face of this adversity, however, they have continued to produce stunning objects that are prized throughout the world
  • One of the most well known Hawaiian artifacts is a poi pounder, which is a pestle used to crush taro root, a crop that grows abundantly throughout the islands

Recommended Items at Auction

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Norfolk Island Pine Hawaiian Calabash Wood Bowls
Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
Norfolk Island Pine Hawaiian Calabash Wood Bowls
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Hawaiian Items


Hill Auction Gallery

Hill Auction Gallery