Petroglyph Honu
Sculpted in
Hawaiian  KOA Wood
Paintings by Joel
December 21, 2008
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Of all the creatures of the sea and of the Hawaiian
Petroglyph symbols, the Honu (turtle) is my favorite.

Some say the honu represents long life; others say that it represents good luck.  I
prefer to believe the story told to me some years ago by an old friend of Hawaiian
ancestry that the honu represents a link between the land and the sea because it lives
in both these worlds.  It also represents a link between the past and the present.  To
have the honu in your home brings peace, tranquility, and harmony with your
ancestors.This wonderful creature has been the subject of a number of my paintings
either in petroglyph form or in its natural state.  Honu are so important to me that my
wife had my wedding band made with my own honu design encircling the band.  It is
fitting that the Honu be the first subject of my wood sculptures, and what more
meaningful wood to select for this sculpture than Koa wood.  Koa, a much sought after
native wood on the Islands, is a disappearing resource - although there is a
movement to cultivate this wonderful tree in small pockets in the Maui rainforests.  It is
currently grown primarily on the Big Island (Hawaii) for export to the mainland.  In this
piece, I have incorporated lava rock on which I have also carved my petroglyph

Note: The rocks found in the Hawaiian Islands are all volcanic. The texture, whether
rough lava or smooth stream bed, depends upon how the stone emerged from the
ground.  The reported "tradition" of bad luck befalling those who remove lava rock from
the islands is dependent on the intentions of the person removing the rock.  If one
"steals" a piece of lava rock from where it has rested forever, particularly if it is taken
from an altar or heiau (temple), "bad luck" may indeed befall them.  Rocks and stones
gathered with consciousness and respect from Maui's stream beds and beaches, not
sacred places, and later created into art can be taken anywhere in the world with no ill
Paintings by Joel