Hā lawaiʻa (stone sinker)

Hā lawaiʻa (stone sinker) was used to sink fishing apparatuses made to catch fish, turtles and squid.

Circumference:18 1/2 inches, Color: Brown - porous lava rock , Weight: 8 lb. 24 oz.

The “coffee bean” shaped sinkers were probably used with fishline along the shore since the shallow depth did not require heavy weight.  These stones were also used for leho heʻe (squid lure).   The knobbed sinker may have been used to weigh down nets. Rounded stones were also used for fishing purposes by weighing down nets and lures.  These types of tools are considered multi purpose.

Cultural Narrative: 

There are many different Hawaiian terms for stone sinker; Pōhaku (former word); kēpau (modern). Also: hā, hā lawaiʻa; pākā (on deep-sea line); pōhākialoa, pōhākioloa (on nets); pōhaku lūheʻe, ʻiole, papa, puʻukuʻua (rare) (on octopus lures). Kinds of stone used for octopus-lure sinkers: hāwaʻe, naninui, palaʻā, papa, pūlewa, waimano, ka-ua-ʻula, komana. (Pukui, 1991).  Fishing was a big part of Hawaiian culture, hence the attention to naming practices and description in the language and specificity of terms.