The pahu, a shark-skin-covered wooden drum, often made from a coconut log, is a traditional Hawaiian musical instrument with an unusually rich historical and musical legacy. It was and continues to be of deep cultural significance to Hawaiians. The instrument is valued because of its origins in legendary times, its functions in religious rites, its materials and manufacture, its powerful sounds, and its relationship to a dance style imbued with sacred tradition. The pahu links Hawai‘i to its Polynesian ancestry. It is an object that comes alive and speaks from remote antiquity. It demands, and receives, profound reverence. (Elizabeth Tatar, introduction to Hula Pahu, Hawaiian Drum Dances, Volume II, 1993)
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