kapa kulture

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

Archive for the tag “Futuna”

Bark Cloth of Uvea (Wallis Island) and Futuna Island

Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna

UVEA
In Uvea, the people speak a language closely related to Tonga, the term for bark cloth in the island of Uvea is ngatu. Paper mulberry, hiapo, is cultivated on the east coast where rainfall is heavy. Double layers of ngatu are beaten out and pasted together and are designed using freehand designs or kupesi-imprinted methods. If the kupesi pattern block is used, it is made form the midrib of leaf sewn to wads of leaf as in Tonga, and this is the traditional style for Uvea to make designs on the cloth.

Contemporary kupesi are carved in wood. Freehand painting is also done. The design motifs have changed over time from simple, repetitious patterns to modern designs that show a slice of life such as drinking kava, dancing, climbing trees, and fishing. Uses of ngatu include bed covers and screens, and clothing. There are two types of wrap-around skirts that are distinct in Uvea. One called a lafi that is decorated using the kupesi and then over-painted with black dye. The second is called a tohihina, which is decorated completely with freehand design using a pen in black dye on white ngatu cloth.

Ngatu of Uvea

Ngatu of Uvea

FUTUNA
As in Samoa, the general term used for tapa in Futuna is siapo. The name for the paper mulberry plant is lafi. Siapo is the term used when large pieces of the cloth are made by groups of women. A salatasi identifies a smaller sheet made by a single individual that is made into a waist wrap to be worn.

The bottom of an old canoe is carved for use as a design tablet, in the style of Tonga. Designs are also applied using bamboo pens or pens made from coconut midrib. The pens are used to draw very intricate patterned designs. Ruled grids are also drawn to create squared-off areas for a variety of patterns within one piece of cloth. As a finishing touch, sometimes the edges of an article are cut into fringes.

Siapo of Futuna Island

Siapo of Futuna Island

Today, costumes for dance consist of a tepi skirt, a lafi sash worn over one shoulder, and a white turban wrap for the head. Borders on tepi skirts are sometimes created by using freehand painting with a brush and fine lines applied with a pen.

"Dancers from Futuna at the 1996 Festival of Pacific Arts, Apia Western Samoa.  The dress of these dancers consists entirely of newly made tapa, from the white turban to the lafe bandolier and the tepi skirt (p.64, Pacific Tapa, R. Neich & M. Pendergrast).

“Dancers from Futuna at the 1996 Festival of Pacific Arts, Apia Western Samoa. The dress of these dancers consists entirely of newly made tapa, from the white turban to the lafe bandolier and the tepi skirt (p.64, Pacific Tapa, R. Neich & M. Pendergrast).

Post Navigation