Carolyn Blackburn founded Mauna Kea Galleries in Hawaii in 1995. Her husband, Mark Blackburn wields over three decades of professional appraisal experience, working with the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Honolulu’s own Mission Houses and Bishop Museums during his career. Mauna Kea Galleries offers rare books, vintage paintings, and island artifacts, such as sculptures, jewelry, and weaponry, to collectors from around the world. Mauna Kea Galleries specializes in offering rare and hard to find Hawaiian object d’art. The Galleries also showcases vintage collectibles from the islands. Mauna Kea Galleries sells vintage posters and menus, hula lamps, and other ephemera.

Recently, Mauna Kea Galleries acquired a Hawaiian game stone, or ulumaika, which dates back to the 18th century. At three inches in diameter, the limestone ulumaika is in superb condition. The ulumaika stones were used for a popular ancient Hawaiian game of chance and were most likely used for bouts of gambling. The stones are either round, like the one the Mauna Kea Galleries is offering, or slightly conical and are made out of stone or coral.

Although there is a great deal of debate about how the game is played, the stones were used along with a wooden moe, which was slid across the ground. There are also documented implements for balancing and throwing. The general idea of the game was to roll the ulumaika along a playing course and through two pegs that made a goal at the course’s end. Each year, the game was played during Makahiki, at which time all fighting ceased and Hawaiians gathered to celebrate.

Mauna Kea Galleries is also now offering a pohakialoa, or sinker used for fishing. Just over six inches in length, the pohakialoa is made from basalt and encrusted with coral.

The other two recent acquisitions made by Mauna Kea Galleries are two pounders. The first, an awa pounder, is dated to the 18th century and measures just over 10 inches. The second is an 18th century ring pounder, known traditionally as a pohaku puka ku‘i poi. Only found on the Island of Kauai or the Marquesas Islands, these pounders are very rare and much sought after.

For further information about these acquisitions or to view more of the items offered by Mauna Kea Galleries, visit


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