This coconut grater stool was made in 1964 by local artisan Soses Tara on Nukuoro atoll in the Caroline Islands. A serrated piece of shell is attached to the front of the stool with plant fibers, and a split coconut is rubbed along the rough edge to shred the meat. The gracefully shaped stool resembles a stylized zoomorphic figure. The minimalist style of Nukuoro carving, exemplified by this stool and by the almost abstract deity figures also made on the atoll, is characteristically Micronesian.
Penn Museum Object #65-8-1.
View this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database.
The Caroline Islands is an archipelago of scattered islands, mostly coral atols just north of New Guinea. Nukuoro is is a secluded coral atoll in Micronesia with a population of under 400 people.
This is an example of a coconut splitter blade from one of our flickr fans. Note the screw holes that will allow it to be drilled into any work surface… just make sure it’s not in a high-traffic spot! This tool looks pretty serious.