Nose flute, Ohe hano ihu or Ohe kani
The nose flute is thought to have been used for communication between lovers. It was played by blowing air from the right nostril into a small hole near the natural juncture or closed end of the bamboo length. The fingers were played over two or three finger holes to produce tones which, in the hands of an expert, sounded like spoken words and carried a great distance. The nose flute was used throughout much of Polynesia.
Collector: Mrs. Edward Tenney
Reference: Buck, 1964; Feher, 1969; Roberts, 1926; Rose, 1980
This item was on display amidst other small Hawaiian artifact in a glass box with little information other than the above paragraph. This was made by the Hawaiian people and used by a groom to entertain his bride, talking to her musically. According to Serge Khalihi King; 'Ohe means "bamboo", hano means "to glorify" and "to breathe strongly", as well as "a nose flute", and ihu means "nose." (1989). Perhaps this is why (other than its sweet melody) that it was often used to woo maidens.
However, research shows that the nose flute is a popular musical instrument played in Polynesia and the Pacific Rim countries, and that other versions are found in Africa, China, and India. Fallon (1990) describe the ritual thus; “Traditionally, the Hawaiian nose flute was commonly used as a form of communication between lovers. One would play a song from the heart to his sweetheart at night, and then, in the morning, play his flute at the sea shore. If the potential mate liked his song, she would greet him at the shore, an indication of acceptance.” But, these flutes are still used today. As youtube searches will prove, they are actually been used today to not only entertain the bride or lover, but also to record music and as Fallon also puts it; “the Hawaiian nose flute can be used for healing and manifesting.”
But the exhibit does not say much because, like Fisher puts it; “(despite curatorial good...