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Stories From Kiribati


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How to husk a coconut - brown or green

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I couldn’t remember how old I was when I first started learning coconut husking. It could have been started by watching my father (and people around the community I grew up in) husking the coconuts. However, I could only be sure that it happened when I was quite a young boy – my mother would ask me to husk coconuts for her cooking mostly.

The skill is not hard as to what some people might have thought of. Thus I agree that it requires a little 'power' but most of all ‘care’ since the sharp stick is used in the process.

Can’t wait much longer? Right then, let’s go to the job! All there is for you to do is to follow the 7 steps below once you’ve got the things needed.

Things Needed:

     i. coconut (brown or green)

     ii. sharp stick (metal can also be used)

7 steps in husking a coconut:

     1. Stand in front of the sharp stick

     2. Hold the coconut firmly in your hands

     3. Press the coconut hard enough onto the sharp stick closer to the head of the coconut.

     4. Hold the coconut tightly while pushing it downwards so the sharp stick forces the husk out.

     5. Pull away the husk that has been forced out from the nut with your hand.

     6. Turn the coconut a little and press it again onto the sharp stick.

     7. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 until the husk is completely removed from the nut.

The steps above are for husking both brown and green coconuts. Just note that green coconuts are young and softer than brown ones. So if you are asked to remove the husk of a green coconut, then use the same steps but be careful not to push the sharp stick too deep towards the center of the coconut otherwise you damage the nut! It is more convenient that your stick is quite sharp when husking a green coconut.

Additional information:

Sharp stick:

The stick used in husking the coconut can be any wood that is strong enough. Some people use sharp pointed metals they can find (pickaxe, stake with sharp ends). This item doesn’t have to be dangerously sharp as the husk is soft. Secure the sharp stick into the ground before using it. The height of the stick should be no higher than your thigh.


Coconut husking is one of the top cultural sports usually played by men. In the game, competitors are given several coconuts to husk. A competitor wins if he finishes first in husking the number of coconuts given to him.

Categories: Culture & Custom