Samoan Tanoa Bowls


The Samoan Tanoa bowl, also commonly known in the pacific as “Kava or Ava Bowl” is one of Samoa’s oldest ceremonial crafts which dates back to Samoan beginnings.

This remarkable wooden Samoan Tanoa bowl is used in the preparation of a soothing drink made from the roots of the kava plant, during the kava ritual an important celebration held during chiefly meetings or any large formal gatherings. The oldest Samoan Tanoa bowls had four legs and a flat rim, those were the features that distinguished them from their Fijian and Tongan duplicates.

Eventually the four legs were replaced by many legs. In the late 1920’s the Samoans considered the many legged style very modern and made bowls according to this style. Over time these bowls became the standard style for both local use and for sale to visitors. Our traditional Samoan Tanoa bowl is an aesthetically pleasing piece of art, decorative engravings of traditional Samoan motifs and coconut sennit weavings are added to the ethnic authenticity.

These Samoan tanoa bowls are all carved from the indigenous Samoan Ifilele wood by local artisans. Janet’s Samoa culture store houses the largest Tanoa bowl collection in the Pacific, ranging from sizes 3inches to 15inches, a great souvenir with historical cultural value from Samoa.