of island residents. The three day program was generously sponsored by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the National Organization for Traditional Artists Exchange through the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center.

Workshop Participants:

Pilialoha Alconcel
John “Bully” and

Irene Kahuhu Davis
Stella Del Rosario
La‘ikealoha Hanog
Onaona and Kepā Maly
Warren Osako
Ben Ostrander
Diane Preza
Kaleo Ropa
Simon Tajiri
Momi Suzuki

(with Irene Kamāhuialani Perry)

August 20, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8935)

August 21, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8992)

Gathering wauke at Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center garden. August 19, 2016. Photo, Onaona Maly. (OM_2439)

Pounding kapa. August 20, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8957)

Preparing wauke. August 19, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8921)

August 20, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8963)

During the workshop haumāna (students) engaged in various practices associated with kapa making. Aunty Moana Eisele started the program with pule and a discussion about kapa making—something that ancient Hawaiians excelled at, and elevated to a high status practice. We then harvested wauke (Broussentia papyrifera) stalks from the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center gardens, and then went through the process of preparing the kae (inner bark bast) of the wauke by stripping the bark from the woody stalk and scraping the outer bark down to the good kapa making fiber. The wauke bast was then soaked in fresh water to soften it prior to beating.

Wauke soaking in water. August 20, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly.

Aunty Moana then described the various tools that are used in making and designing kapa. These tools included the kua pōhaku, hohoa, kua kuku, ‘ie kuku, ‘ohe kāpala, and various wai ho‘olu‘u. Some of the haumāna had prepared ‘ie kuku and kua kuku prior to the class, so we were able to make use of those tools as we continued the workshop. We then engaged in designing ‘ohe kāpala (bamboo stamps) for printing designs on the kapa. Aunty Moana stressed the importance of creating designs that are rooted in our ancient Hawaiian practice of kapa making, versus designs which are culturally detached.

Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center. August 19, 2016 Photo, Anela Evans. (KIP_0833)

August 21, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_9000)

Aunty Moana sharing various kapa tools. August 19, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8914)


Aunty Moana was inspiring, and the results of the workshop will manifest in the on-going revitalization of this traditional practice on Lāna‘i. All of the program participants are engaged in teaching young students and/or sharing the culture and history of Lāna‘i with residents and guests.

Ka Hana Kapa – Kapa Making on Lāna‘i

Pounding kapa. August 20, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8956)

On August 19th–21st 2016, Moana Eisele, a noted Hawaiian kapa maker, came to Lāna‘i to teach kapa (traditional bark-cloth)  making to a small group

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Scraping outside bark off wauke. August 19, 2016. Photo, Kepā Maly. (KPAC3_8922)

On day two of the workshop, everyone engaged in designing and carving their ‘ohe kāpala and in their first beating of the kapa. On the third day of the workshop we were engaged in completing the design of the ‘ohe kāpala, drying our kapa samples, and working with wai ho‘olu‘u to learn how to apply the designs to kapa and other natural materials.