Mending Broken Bowls

When Hawaiians of old broke a bowl, they did not discard it. Instead, they mended it using another type of wood and shaped it in the form of a fish (known as the pewa design) or a butterfly (known as the lepelepe o Hina design) as part of the mending process. The more it was mended, the more pewa or lepelepe designs were added. The more designs, the more the bowl was seen as beautiful because it had a history and someone cared enough about the bowl to keep mending it. That was the real value of an object–how it survived, its history and how it was cherished generation after generation despite any “imperfections”.  Just something to think about.
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One thought on “Mending Broken Bowls”

  1. Hi Adam,thanks for the really interesting article! I'm writing a paper on a surfboard with a similar repair. So I'm just wondering if you have any academic references for this practice in Hawaiian craftsmanship?Thanks! Jo (Maritime Archaeology student from University of Southampton)


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