What does kapa mean?

Definitions for kapa

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  1. Kapa

    Kapa is a fabric that was made by Native Hawaiians from the bast fibres of certain species of trees and shrubs in the orders Rosales and Malvales. It is similar to tapa found elsewhere in Polynesia but differs in the methods used in its creation. Kapa was based primarily on the creative combination of linear elements that cross and converge to form squares, triangles, chevrons and diagonal forms, giving a feeling of boldness and directness. Kapa was used primarily for clothing like the malo worn by men as a loincloth and the pāʻū worn by women as a wraparound. Kapa was also used for kīhei used over the shoulders. Other uses for kapa depended on caste and a person's place in ancient Hawaiian society. Kapa moe were reserved for the aliʻi or chiefly caste while kapa robes were used by kāhuna or priestly caste. Kapa was also used as banners where leis were hung from it and images of their gods were printed on it. Cultural anthropologists over the course of the twentieth century identified techniques in the creation of kapa that was unique to the Hawaiian Islands. Wauke was the preferred source of bast fibres for kapa, but it was also made from ʻulu, ōpuhe, maʻaloa, māmaki, ʻākala, ʻākalakala, and hau. In the 18th century, pieces of kapa were often made of grooving or ribing. It is done by pushing the dampened cloth into the grooves of a special board. The wauke tree was cut and soaked in water. It was then laid on a kua kūkū and beaten with a hōhoa. After the first phase of beating, the kapa was transferred to a sacred house to be beaten a second time but in a religious manner. Each kapa manufacturer used a beater called an ʻiʻe kūkū, a beater with four flat sides that were each carved differently. Another way to carve the kapa is by starting on the four-sided affairs, with the coarsest grooves on one side used first in breaking down the bast, or wet bark. Then, the beating continued using two sides with finer grooves. Lastly, finishing touches were accomplished with the remaining smooth side of the beater. The carvings left an impression in the cloth that was hers alone. After the European discovery of the Hawaiian Islands, Western traders travelled to Hawaiʻi especially for kapa.

Suggested Resources

  1. KAPA

    What does KAPA stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the KAPA acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

How to pronounce kapa?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say kapa in sign language?

  1. kapa


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of kapa in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of kapa in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of kapa

  1. kapakapakapakapakapa

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"kapa." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 18 Aug. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/kapa>.

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