kapa kulture

This blog is dedicated to Hawaiian kapa and matters related to Hawai'i nei…kuku kapa e!

Hawaiian Word of the day: hālu’a

hālu’a: 1. stripe, ripple; ridged seamed, streaked, wrinkled. ‘ālu’a. 2. Pattern on the surface of a tapa beater or tapa. This term may follow types of beaters, as ko’eau hālu’a, mole hālua, pū’ili halu’a. It also precedes types of beaters, as listed below. 3. Variation of hānu’a (thick).

hālu’a ko’eau: Design on a tapa beater consisting of one or more straight lines separating every two wavy lines. Gently waving, delicate parallel lines (the waves are smaller and less jagged than those of the ha’ao.

hālu’a lei hala: Tapa beater design said to resemble pandanus lei and consisting of interlocked triangles.

hālu’a maka ‘upena: Tapa-beater design resembling net mesh.

hālu’a mana mana: Tapa-beater design. Branch, limb; a line projecting from another line, forked.

hālu’a niho manō: The panels between the hālu’a lines are enhanced by regularly spaced small triangles. Lit., shark tooth hālu’a.

hālu’a pāwehe niho manō: Tapa-beater design. The triangles of the niho manō pattern are bordered by oblique lines (pāwehe).

hālu’a pu’ili: A tapa-beater design pattern: tips of zigzag ridges in adjacent surfaces meet and form sunken lozenges. (ko’eau, in which the ridges are parallel).

hālu’a pūpū: A tapa-beater pattern with circular motifs (pūpū), also kōnane pūpū. (pūpū: 1. general name for marine and land shells; beads, snail. 2. any circular motif as in tapa, kōnane pūpū, checkerboard pattern [with rounded pits on each square, as on tapa].

(Hawaiian Dictionary,Revised and Enlarged Edition. Pukui & Elbert, 1971).


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2 thoughts on “Hawaiian Word of the day: hālu’a

  1. Amy Ngo on said:


    The Curriculum Research & Development Group at the University of Hawaii is currently in the works of publishing a 3rd edition textbook titled, “A History of Hawaii,” which will be used in the public schools across the state. The textbook will include a section that talks about Kapa and we are interested in possibly including the photo of the wooden tools to make the patterns. Do you own the rights to this photo? Any information you can provide for me would greatly be appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Amy Ngo
    Editorial Assistant
    Curriculum Research & Development Group
    1776 University Ave, CM 131
    Honolulu, HI 96822

    Ph: 808-956-6118
    Email: crdgedit@hawaii.edu

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