Mea hana no ka hana kapa (tools for kapa making). Photo – Kepā Maly.

Mahalo to Hawai‘i State Foundation Culture & the Arts, Film Producers, Kapa Making Practitioners, ‘ohana of Lāna‘i & Pūlama Lāna‘i’s Hale Keaka Theater for the great “Ka Hana Kapa” presentation. It is very important to see this traditional practice continue. Stay tuned for upcoming workshops in kapa making that was held August  19th - 21st, 2016.

Sharing with community before and after the film. Thank you for visiting us on Lāna‘i. February 7, 2015 Photo, Kepā Maly.

Ka Hana Kapa documents the history of kapa in Hawai‘i and follows the complex process of Hawaiian kapa making from start to finish. Hawaiian kapa is one of the most beautiful art forms in the Pacific. In ancient Hawai‘i, kapa, or bark cloth made from the wauke plant (Broussonetia papyrifera), was used for clothing, bedding, the wrapping of precious iwi (ancestor’s bones), important ceremonies, and a myriad of other purposes, making it an integral part of everyday life in Hawaiian society. But with the coming of foreigners and western cloth, the practice fell into decline, and by the end of the 19th century, kapa making had all but ended. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, as part of what is now often called the Hawaiian Renaissance, a small group of women sought to revive this ancient art. Ka Hana Kapa is the story of kapa making in Hawai‘i, as told by these dedicated kapa practitioners and their students, who have given new life to this intricate cultural practice. Kapa alive and well, with accomplished practitioners and students throughout the state who continue to make kapa, design and learn from each other. The fine quality, artful aesthetics, and both traditional and contemporary expression assures kapa’s well-being into the future.  


Ka Hana Kapa is supported in part by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities.

Documentary Film Showing and Lecture Series was held on Lāna‘i at the Lāna‘i Theater on February 7, 2015. Admission was Free and presented in partnership and co-sponsorship with: ​Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center, National Organization for Traditional Artists Exchange and Pūlama Lāna‘i.

mAHALO — KA HANA KAPA THE ART OF MAKING KAPA (HAWAIIAN BARK CLOTH)