Each house consisted of two apartments; the floor was formed of split stems of trees set close together and covered with mats; they were reached from the shore by dug-out canoes poled over the shallow waters, and a notched tree trunk served as a ladder.
The chunky blocks of the stone walls were decorated with art done by children, and colorful mats covered the floor.
It is still used locally for making shoes, ships' cables, mats and a kind of spun cloth.
The stony plains which cover so large a part of the country are often covered with acacia jungle, and in the dry water-courses a kind of wild palm, the dom, abounds, from the leaves of which baskets and mats are woven.
On the island of Niihau is a fine grass (Cyperus laevigatus), out of which the beautiful Niihau mats were formerly made; it is used in making Panama hats.