Koa wood has an honored heritage in Hawaii. The word Koa means 'warrior' in the Hawaiian language. The wood was originally used to make canoes and weapons for the warriors of King Kamehameha. It is still deeply important to the Hawaiian culture, and it is prohibited for anyone to cut down a living Koa tree.
However, the trees sometimes die naturally, as they have a 50-80 year life cycle. These cross sections of Koa are from a neighbors tree that was cut down after the tree had died. We live at sea level - which makes the wood of this Koa very blonde (as you go up in elevation, the wood became darker and the grain more "curly"). I am truly honored to have this Koa in my collection of materials.
With this beautiful Koa I've paired trash! Yes, 'opala is the Hawaiian word for trash, and it this case it refers to colorful pieces of recycled glass that used to be, you guessed it, trash!
Each ornament is approximately 1.25-1.5 inches across and 0.5 inches thick. A hanger made of silky nylon cord with a "tassely" edge is attached to each ornament and on the back the year is written using a wood burner and a puka shell!