For my school project in my Hawaiian Ethnobotany Class I need to make haupia from scratch (kind of a coconut pudding custard). I had to make the starch from the pia root and then I had to get milk from coconuts. My friend Tina helped me with the coconuts. She must be really strong or I must be really weak. It was hilarious trying to husk the coconut myself. After watching me struggle and make a couple of dents in the coconut Tina asked to take over (she probably didn't want to be there all night!). We (well mainly Tina) did seven coconuts to come up with two cups of milk. First you husk them, then crack them open (I couldn't even do that), then you grate the meat. Then you take the husk fibers, roll the meat in them and ring it like a towel to get the milk. It took us about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish (including getting the coconuts).
Here is a video of Tina husking away.