Kapa is the main art of old Hawaii. The old Hawaiians used kapa to make lots of things including blankets, lava lavas and mu'u mu'us for their families.The best kapa makers used to make the kings and queens finest outfits for balls. Kapa came to the islands with the first Hawaiians.
The Hawaiians made the kapa from a plant called the Paper Mulberry or wauke. In order to make the Wauke grow straight and tall they cut off the branches. The materials used for making kapa include,Wauke(Paper Mulberry), kapa beaters,bamboo stamps, pandanus key liners
Did you know that in order to make kapa you have to carry a beat or the kapa won't come out the way you want it to? The Hawaiians beat the kapa till it was dry. To dry the kapa you need rocks to hold it down a clean grassy area to lay the kapa down and a long sunny day to help it dry. It takes FIVE layers to make a comfortable blanket .
To design the kapa, dip it into a lightly colored pinkish dye move it around so it will soak, if the kapa rips just sew it back together. Then squeeze the liquid out so that it will be a beautiful light color. The most popular design was formed by three triangles which meet at the points and is stamped at the sides using bamboo stamps. To make the bamboo stamps first you carve a design on a flat wood board then dip it in ink. The Hawaiians were very smart and used their imagination to design the kapa.
The greatest makers of kapa crafting are endangered meaning that there are not very many Hawaiian kapa makers around .
A legend of kapa goes like this: There was a man named Mikoha which died of a chill that went right to his bones. Before he died he told his children to watch for a tree where he was buried and from this tree you would be able to make the finest fabric which would be called KAPA.