This video documents beating the kapa cloth (kuku pa’upa’u). These kapa were being made for wrapping bones (iwi) for reburial. November 23, 2012
Ka Hana Kapa: The Making of Hawaiian Kapa, Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology and National History. Honolulu, Hawai’i: Bishop Museum Press, 1911. This is authentic! I found this online and it is free to read! Then I saw an actual copy at the Kaua’i Historical Society when I visited their resource library! It was great to see it, a very large, over-sized book filed with knowledge I can use! Mahalo ke Akua!
The hohoa is the first tool used in the process of beating kapa. This will eventually be rounded at the top and tapered at the bottom to form the handle. This is from the first day of carving. I worked about 6 hours…still not done. this is hard work!
This wauke was freshly peeled at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens… by the high school seniors from Kawaikini Hawaiian Immersion Charter School. The seniors will be making kihei (capes) from this wauke. Kihei were worn by both men and women in the days before the domination of Western clothing.
My goal in starting this blog is to learn all I can about Hawaiian kapa. From tools to processes, from designs to pigments and dyes… I hope to create a repository for my research and a journal that documents my journey. I hope that the knowledge shared here is of interest to others. Perhaps more importantly, I expect to be transformed as a person, as an artist, and as a Hawaiian… as my identity embraces the mana’o of my ancestors….