Ipu Hokiokio

Name: Ipu Hokiokio.
Type: Aerophones > Flutes > Nose.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 421.121.12
Country: Hawaii, USA
Region: Pacific Ocean.

Description: The ipu hōkiokio or also ipu hoehoe, pu’a is a vessel nose flute aerophone of the Hawaiian people. The ipu hōkiokio was played as a solo instrument, the performer supposedly imitating the melodic contour of 2, 3 and 4-tone mele ho’oipipo [love chants].

Origins: Vessel nose flutes are not found in other parts of Polynesia, so it has been assumed that the ipu hōkiokio is of Hawaiian invention [Hiroa 1964, p. 393]. However, McLean [1999, p. 496] points out that gourd whistles are found elsewhere in Oceania, but does not explicitly state if they are played as nose flutes. It is at least possible that the gourd whistle or the idea of it might have been introduced to Hawaii by ancient Polynesian voyagers, but it is unclear if the method of sounding it with the nose originates in Hawaii or elsewhere.

The ipu hōkiokio is seldom used today but is still made and easily procurable at hula supply stores, Hawaiian craft fairs and tourist venues, sold as a symbol of ancient Hawaiian culture or as a novelty.

Citations: Bibliography: Emerson, Nathaniel B. 1909 Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office ; Hiroa, Te Rangi [Peter H. Buck] 1964 – Arts and Crafts of Hawaii–IX: Musical Instruments. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press ; McLean, Mervyn. 1999 – Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance – Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press ; Roberts, Helen H. 1967. Ancient Hawaiian Music. New York: Dover Publications, Inc ; Tartar, Elizabeth. 1979. “Ohe hano ihu” in Kanahele, George S. Hawaiian Music and Musicians. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, pp. 270-272 ; Websites: Grinnell Instrument Collection / Ipu Hokiokio – Hawaiian Nose Flute [of gourd] ;

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