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Hawaiian Ipu Heke Dance Implement


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One of the most important instruments in Hawaiian Hula. It is used to create the rhythm of the chant and dancers of the hula. The Ipu Heke is made of two gourds glued together. The heke (top gourd), which is smaller, is cut and fitted into a larger gourd that creates a whole container shaped like a figure 8. A collar of tapa or rope is fastened in between to make handling easier.

While sitting, usually on knees, the kumu (teacher) or musician holds the ipu and strikes it with the fingers and the palm of the dominant hand and by thumping the bottom against a matted floor. The drum like instrument is easy to carry, light weight and somewhat fragile.

Approximate dimensions full size: 18" height x 9" diameter
Approximate dimensions extra large: 24" height x 10" diameter

Made in Hawaii.