The Kava Bowl
A Kava Bowl Explained
A kava bowl is traditionally used in the south Pacific and Hawaii to drink kava. A kava bowl is usually nothing more than a coconut shell cup or a carved wooden bowl. To drink kava from anything else is like drinking champagne from a coffee mug.Nakamal At Home can sell you a kava bowl in our online shop.
A large kava bowl is called a tanoa. A tanoa is a customary kava making bowl. Kava is also served from these special, large bowls.Each tanoa kava bowl is always carved out of wood. In Fiji the tanoas are often elaborately decorated with sea shells and painted art.These tanoa kava bowls also have different numbers of legs on them depending where they were made.To see a kava bowl with 8 legs is not uncommon.We do not know exactly what the significance is with the number of legs on a tanoa kava bowl.We will do some research on the subject and add to this kava bowl content when we find more out on this puzzling question.
This is a picture of kava being served from a kava bowl at a nakamal in Noumea, New Caledonia. The name of this nakamal is Nakamal Du Faubourg.It would not be unusual to visit a kava bar in New Caledonia and have the proprietor serve you kava from a plastic bucket or even a tea kettle instead of a traditional kava bowl.
Nowadays, a kava bowl can literally be exactly that. In the nakamals of Vanuatu and New Caledonia plastic bowls are starting to replace coconut shells. This is due a shortage of coconut shells probably because there are reportedly over 1200 nakamals in these 2 countries alone.The Chinese businessmen in Port Vila appear to be profiting from this coconut shell kava bowl shortage at this time. Now we are starting to use plastic bowls in our kava bar because people steal so many kava bowls for souvenirs.
If you purchase a kava bowl from us it will last you many kava drinking sessions.We coat our kava bowls with an FDA approved sealant so that they will safely last a long time.A kava bowl in the south Pacific would normally not be coated.In Fiji they bury the kava bowls (which they call a bilo) in the mud and polish them to give them a burnished finish that is also effective at keeping a kava bowl from absorbing moisture and rotting in the humid climate.