Above two pieces are from the Narra tree.
The Hawaiian calabash can be very simple, but yet very complicated. In its most simple form, it is any vessel that was used to hold food. But the calabash can be a very complex and complicated subject matter. For those interested in a more in-depth study, I recommend an article written by woodturner Pat Kramer, found in the Honolulu Woodturners website under the section “Tips”.
Here are some examples of calabash forms that I have made in the past:
This is a special piece, from a Yellow Poinciana tree on the grounds of Iolani Palace. The center of this old tree had become hollow and diseased, and had to be cut down. I tell people that the tree may have been planted by ancient Hawaiian royalty ;-).