How do you drill holes in things when you lack power tools? The ancient Polynesians came up with an ingenious answer- the pump drill. Pump drills were used to drill small, regular holes. They were fashioned from wooden vertical spindles and a wooden horizontal cross-piece. Flywheel weights were typically fashioned from coral, and the bit was often made from shell or shark’s teeth, although after European contact nails were rapidly adopted. These complete drilling rigs with drill points allowed Polynesians to make holes in fishhook blanks and to prepare the complex rigging systems for their voyaging canoes. Archaeologists have found portions of pump drills in archaeological sites across Polynesia. Here you can see a replica of a Tahitian or Ma’ohi example that Dr. Sinoto found on an archaeological site on Huahine in the Society Islands. The flywheel weight is made from a piece of sanded coral. Umi Kai, who made the replica, is working the pump drill into a piece of wood as Dr. Sinoto looks on. You can see how the drill bit begins to leave a mark in the wooden plaque. In the final figure you can see several fishhook tabs (or blanks) recovered from a prehistoric Hawaiian house site in Kohala on the Big Island. The first two objects are a bone tab (a) and a pearl shell tab (b)- they represent the first stage of fishhook manufacture. In the next stage the inside of the tab needs to be worked- this can either be done by drilling a hole with a pump drill (c and d), or by using a file to cut out the interior (e).