Kapa Wale No

All Kapa, all the time...Despite it being long, solitary work, we can share thoughts and experiences through this online hui. Any classe or event postings are also welcome here.

Members: 76
Latest Activity: Mar 4


Okay are some of the classes that the Cultural Learning Center at Ka'ala will be sponsoring and yours truly will be teaching. If you are interested in taking any of them, send an email to to have an application sent to you. There is a limit on people per class, however if interest is great, we will schedule more classes later on in the year and feel free to pass the info on to others you think may be interested.
Also, this group is for sharing any kapa classes, get togethers and events so please do so! All Islands and the mainland are welcome to represent and 'ae 'ae, a'ohe pau ka 'ike i ka halau kahi.

Men only kapa class. Improve your patience and perserverence skills by making your own kapa malo. All materials and tools provided but bring a favorite (if you have it) pocketknife to the first class. Saturdays 9-1 Limit 10 students
April 19, May 10, May 24 Cost $100.00 Ages 16 and up

Kapa making for repatriation efforts. A free two day event where students will learn about and make kapa that will be used for the iwi reburials. This is special work and we request that you come with the proper attitude of respect and humility for the work.
April 12, May 10 Ages 16 and up Limit 15 students

Make your own kapa and kapa tools including the niho mano and ohe kapala. Students will learn kapa history, wauke cultivation and will malama one of our mala wauke. You will also learn about dye gathering and preparation and decorate your kapa. All materials provided. Saturdays 9-2
June 7, 14, 21, 28 Cost $150.00 Ages 16 and up
Limit of 10 students

Send email to for application
Please also visit my website about Hawaiian kapa at
Mahalo nui

Kumu kapa Sabra Kauka will be involved in some kapa events that you can check out:
Kupuna Kapa Display at the Princeville Library
Kapa Demonstration at the Hyatt for Prince Kuhio Birthday celebrati
If you are on the island of Kaua'i please support the great work Sabra has been doing there!

Discussion Forum

kīhei ʻaʻahu noʻenoʻe 8 Replies

Started by ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa. Last reply by ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Jul 13, 2011.

kuku kapa 7 Replies

Started by Momi Wheeler. Last reply by Momi Wheeler Mar 13, 2008.

Kuku ke kapa... 18 Replies

Started by Momi. Last reply by Dalani Mar 7, 2008.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Bronson Keali'i Kalipi on July 19, 2011 at 10:20pm
How dare you Kaohi send me a email to participate in a fraud.  I rather die as a Kanaka Maoli for independence than side for a defacto that dictates for our Kanaka Maoli race.  This is sickening because you accept for our people to have genocide upon us just for a lousy blood quantum trip on so call DHHL.  You rather see a Ha Ole come into our lives and kick our asses to the curb while he make money off of our land money and assets.  What the f#ck is that, that man is hewa and get that through your fr!cken thick scull cause 100's of our Kanaka's had died for a reason (to be free as men and woman.  Ask your kupuna kaohi and see if they think and feel the same way as you do.  At least they have a heart and pity for all of the Kanaka Maoli people, YOU on the other hand worried about the Land that DHHL have gave.  What about your race?  What about the po'e Kanaka Maoli?  What about the KEIKI of the po'e Kanaka Maoli?  Hewa, AI KANAKA, my father taught me this is when you fight for the land or ocean with hewa, then the land or ocean going eat you up especially when you only think for your self and not the next Kanaka.  A'ale HEWA, I pray that E'O come and judge cause this is becoming to fricken much and I cannot see one wahine of the kanaka maoli race poison the minds just for her own gain.  SHAME ON YOU KAOHI.
Comment by Bronson Keali'i Kalipi on July 17, 2011 at 11:31am, watch this and see where America is taking there people.

Comment by Bronson Keali'i Kalipi on July 16, 2011 at 5:55pm

I cannot wait for my trial, I just got two more tickets and counting. I trying to get more then our Minister of Foreign Affairs...LOL  To beat him I need more then 29  citations and $28,000 bail when I get thrown in jail for exercising my rights to travel...

Ambercrombie, remember World war 1 when Germany was trying to take the world over? When we go to the Worlds Court, I hope your ready to face your punishment.  Be a man and stay alive because Hitler took his own life because the Human Rights Violations he committed with the Jew's and to other countries he tried to conquer.  World Power and the New World Order won't last for ever and I hope you don't believe that because your being lied to.  Judgement day is right around the corner and I'll be there watching the anti christ along with each and everyone of you  that supported the New World Order judge by our father in heaven (Jehovah and Jesus Christ of Nazareth).  Know your place in this world and change while you still have the time to change cause the creator is on the move.......    

Comment by Anne Punohu on July 3, 2010 at 5:20pm
On Kauai, from the Halale'a ahupua'a, there is an important mo'olelo, regarding the washing and soaking of the first strips, in the Wainiha river. Its a sad kind of mo'olelo involving the he'e, which there was a very mucha LOT of he'e there before. But the mo'olelo teach the reasons behind why the wauke would rot, or wouldnt rot in certain wai.. But when I was taught, at this time, auntie thinks the water was pilau, so we just soaked in the backyard in a large bucket.
Comment by Anne Punohu on July 3, 2010 at 5:16pm
ok, to see that wauke growing properly the pololei way and the wahines caring for it...sorry guys but i had to get a tissue!!

I was taught to grow, harvest and make tapa, by master tapa maker, my aunti (calabash) Inoa (Marilyn) Naihe (Goo) of Anahola.

I will write the mo'olelo of that first day. on my page later time. It has been my dream ever since, to get land, and grow the wauke properly and to see every one making the SUPERIOR OF ALL Kauai tapa, and again showing everyone the right way to make the designs, to die, to wash ect. We have too much importing from tonga, samoa and fiji this is stiff stuff with big sloppy types of adornments. yes it is cultural, but the tapa of ka pae aina o hawaii nei is very distinctual and different from all other places.

I was taught each district here had the tapa of the makaainana and kuaaina all died certain colors, so that if you were from a different district (ahupuaa) everyone would know. I was taught the color for Halele'a was an olive colored oma'oma'o.

One of my problems is in storing the tapa I have made without getting any bugs in it. I have to rewash m,y tapa a few times a year and hang it on the clothesline.

any suggestions out there?
Comment by Uncle Wes on December 28, 2009 at 1:05pm
Comment by Leinani on June 17, 2009 at 8:44am
Aloha mai e.

Dalani, mahalo nui for sharing at the Smithsonian this past weekend. It was inspirational for those of us far from home and a chance for my daughter to see first hand. Mahalo!
Comment by Benton Kealii Pang on March 5, 2009 at 3:15pm
Here is a great article highlighting kapa Hawai'i and the artisans (one of whom is here on Maoliworld!) who are preserving its traditions.

The Beat Goes On
story by Roland Gilmore
photos by Dana Edmunds
Hana Hou Magazine (Feb./March 2009)

A warm wind is blowing on O‘ahu’s leeward coast: down from Mount Ka‘ala, through Makaha Valley and then out to sea. Not a strong wind, just enough to rustle the leaves of Dalani Tanahy’s wauke patch. Left untended, these paper mulberry plants will would grow like weeds, sending runners underground and shooting up new plants where you’d least expect them. But that sort of unfettered growth does nothing to suit Dalani’s purposes, and so her carefully managed crop of roughly 200 plants grows as uniformly as a field of corn, each eight-foot-high row separated by a mulch-covered walkway; branches regularly pruned at the trunk to create a smooth, unscarred bark; the whole works irrigated by drip-lines.


Comment by Uncle Wes on February 10, 2009 at 5:28am
when Pua Van Dorpe and I were doing work on Maui we found this document from Lahainaluna by Able Makekau stating that the Hawaiians did not ferment Tapa to be made into malo and pa'u.

Abel Makekau describes maceration as such. He states that after the Mo'omo'o were made they were laid on banana leaves and sprinkled with water then‑‑covered with banana leaves. It was left to rot for a week. The Tapa maker would be always pressing the covering down, and if it should sink the contents were ready to be taken out. She also tested it by sticking her finger into it and it they went through easily and it was easy to tear, the banana leaves were taken off and the mo'omo'o taken out to be kneaded. Each mo'omo'o was torn, rolled and pressed and the mass made into a round cake. At first it resembled soaked paper, but by kneading, it became as tough as dough. This done, a cake was taken to the Kua (wooden anvil) and laid upon it to be beaten.
Kaahaaina continues to describe the next process as felting or ..Each mo'omo'o loosely coiled and when flattened out was about 6 inches long. It was not unrolled. Due to wetting and maceration it appeared like a small mass of pulp. Any slimy water was squeezed from it. It was then laid on the Kua and beaten with the pepehi side of the I’e kuku(wooden beater‑grooved side). During the beating the pulpy material spread in all directions, as it spread the edges were turned back from one side to another. This was done as the beating continued, similar to rolling dough for pastry. As a result the fibers became turned in all directions and a very complete felting (palahe) resulted. The name of the material at this stage was called mo'omo'o hana. After initial felting as it began to spread and
Became sheet like, it was termed u'au'a and the edges were not
turned back again at this stage. At this stage the sheet was given its shape not its size. 'U'a is the term for a coarse mat or tapa according to Mary Pukui.
At this stage the beaten bast was taken out to the drying yard. This can be on your lawn or on a pavement. The bast must be weigh down with stones at the margins and left in the sun to dry. When the bast is dried it is called Mo'omo'o and can be stored till enough is obtained for the article desired. If you are going to store it for a long period of time it is best to air it out in the sun every now and then, especially after humid or rainy weather.
The Mo'omo'o is now subject to further fermentation. Soak the Mo'omb'o in fresh water until damp, then wrap in Ti leaves (la'i puolo) and put it in a sealed container. Leave this for about two days then check it to make sure there aren’t any mold and whether the bast is soft and slimy. The Mo'omo'o may be left in this way from 4 to 5 to 10 days, when the water 'squeezed from the bast is slimy and fibers are soft to the touch, the material is ready for the second. Begin beating with the I'e kuku (four sided beater).
In Makekau's description of felting ire says that the Kua was raised about a foot from the ground by means of lauhala pillows, blocks or stones placed at the ends. The Tapa maker sat down with a basin of water by her side, picked up the club and with two hands began to beat. She beat from left to right and back. The stuff spread out and became tougher, and to beat it evenly, she change it from right to left etc.. She sprinkled water as she beat and every now and then changed her sitting position. The finished dart of the Kapa was coming toward her and once in a while she rolled it up. When she was finished she folded it in two and beat it into one sheet, then she folded the sides to beat the edges straight. When there was nothing more to do, no mistake to be corrected, no: thick places to be beaten again, no thin places to be filled and nothing whatever to be done over again) the cloth was finished.
Kaahaina says that many beatings were required before the Kapa was completed. The second, third and fourth beatings were done each according to the degree of fineness of the I'e kuku surface used. The first beating was coarse and termed pa'i(pa'i were parallel lines on a beater) and all mo'omo'o were put through this stage before the finer beatings were applied. This took one days work, material not being worked on was kept in ti leaves (puolo la'i). The first three stages of beating were done with a longitudinally ribbed mallet (i'e kuku pepehi‑ho'opa'i). The finishing stage was termed holua and was done with a watermarked surface or with a very finely ribbed surface (ho'opa'i).
Drying was done in the kahua an area covered with small pebbles. The sheet was laid out in the morning, weighted with stones along the edges. As the sheet dried the stones were moved to make sure shrinkage was even and to keep it from tearing.
The sheet of Kapa was then ironed after the final drying by beating with the smooth side of the beater (mole). It was trimmed square if necessary this was checked by folding the sheet in four, if it was even the work was counted as satisfactory.
It took five of these to make a Kuina (quilt) four plain white ones called Iho, and one colored, the outermost, called Kilohana. After the Kilohana had been dyed and perfumed, it was laid upon the iho and the sides toward the head sewed together with long stitches. The Kapa was now completed.
The manufacture of the Pa'u and Malo is different from that of Kapa. The bast was striped and cleaned and beaten at once on the rounded side of the Kua with the pepehi side of the Hohoa. No moisture is applied. To increase the width pieces are laid with sides overlapping and tapped at intervals to join them. This process was called paku. To lengthen ends are trimmed even and ends of the new pieces are overlaid and felted. Young straight Wauke called Wauke Ohi wahich grows to a height without branching was used. This method is similar to the method used in Fiji to produce lengths of tapa. The bark is not pulped together as in Kuina Kapa the grain of the bark fiber can still be seen which also attributes to its strength for used as clothin
Comment by Sabra Kauka on January 25, 2009 at 8:50pm
If you're on Kaua'i next Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 come to the Frear Center for Hawaiian Culture & the Arts at Island School in Puhi at 9:30am. Lisa Raymond, exec. director of Maui Nui Botanical Garden, will be presenting a lecture on kapa dyes. Island School is located behind the college. Donation of $10 is requested to defray the cost of RT airfare. If no kala, a`ole pilikia, we have plenty of weeds to pull in the garden. One bucket full = free ticket. O wau me kealoha, Kauka

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