kapa kulture

This blog is dedicated to Hawaiian kapa and matters related to Hawai'i nei…kuku kapa e!

Archive for the tag “hawaiian culture”

Hawaiian Kapa and Contemporary Hawaiian Identity

http://vimeo.com/40839757

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Hawaiian Word of the Day: manaʻo ʻiʻo

manaʻoʻiʻo: Faith, confidence; to have faith, confidence; to believe. Kumu manaʻoʻiʻo, creed. Pelika o ka manaʻoʻiʻo, covenant of faith. Ua manaʻoʻiʻo i ke Akua, [he] believes in God.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: Makaliʻi

Makaliʻi: 1. Tiny, very small, fine, wee, small-meshed; narrow wefts. Makaliʻi ʻohua, tiny ʻohua, spawn: fig., anything wee, tiny. 2. Pleiades; Castor and Pollux. 3. Hawaiian month name; the six summer months collectively.

Makaliʻi  (Pleiades)

Makaliʻi (Pleiades)

To learn more about the Makaliʻi constellation and the associated Hawaiian season of Makahiki, check out this website:

http://www.kaahelehawaii.com/pages/culture_makahiki.htm

Bark Cloth of the Cook Islands

Cook Islands Tiput

Cook Islands Tiputa

Tapa is the name used for bark cloth in the Cook Islands. In the northern Cook Islands the paper mulberry did not grow well. But it did grow in the southern Cook Islands and was made into tapa there. As in other Polynesian islands, the breadfruit tree bark and banyan bark were also used to make tapa. In the southern Cooks tapa was felted into a single layer, with no sign of joining.

Decorating the finished tapa was done with freehand painting, immersion in dye baths, or it was cut with designs in a patterned motif. The rubbing method using design tablets was not used in the Cook Islands. Diamond motifs, which were “associated with the sacred world of the gods,” were applied on masks using the freehand painting method. Masks were made and decorated in Mangaia and Rarotonga and they were used in pageants called eva, to remember gods and cultural heroes. These ceremonies also were performed in association with mourning.

Tiputa was worn as clothing in the Cook Islands, in the Tahitian style that is believed to have been the result of the strong missionary influence. The tiputa was fashioned as a long piece of tapa that had a hole cut into the middle to be worn on the body like a poncho. Pants were made too. Articles of clothing were cut at the edges in fringes and cuts were made throughout the article in repetitive patterns, as in Futuna.

In the Cook Islands, as elsewhere in Polynesia, making bark cloth was done by women. However, a special, heavier, white cloth called tikoru was made by men. This was a special ceremonial bark cloth that was used to wrap around god images and was the attire of priests and high chiefs. This use may reflect the connection to spiritual beliefs that the chief and priests are descendant from the gods themselves.

(Neich & Pendergrast, Pacific Tapa, 1997).

Hawaiian Word of the Day: pōpoki

pōpoki: Cat (said by some to be derived from English “poor pussy”). Pōpoki kī, a spitting cat [spiteful, malignant person]. Pōpoki lehu, Maltese cat; lit., ash cat. Pōpoki nāwaliwali, weak cat [a weakling]. Pōpoki peʻelua, gray cat with darker markings, as a tabby cat; lit., caterpillar cat.

ko'u pōpoki, my cat

ko’u pōpoki, my cat

Hawaiian Word of the Day: hāʻawi

hāʻawi: To give, grant, allot, hand, present; to bid as at auction; to offer; to deal, as cards; a deal. Hāʻawi lokomaikaʻi, to give freely, open-handed. Hāʻawi wale, to give freely, gratis.

ʻukiʻuki ~ Dianella Sandwichensis

ʻukiʻuki ~ Dianella Sandwicensis


Ka ukiʻuki ʻo ia haʻawi. The ʻukiʻuki it’s giving.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: heiau

heiau: Pre-Christian place of worship, shrine; some heiau were elaborately constructed stone platforms, others simple earth terraces. Many are preserved today. Several types are listed below. On the island of Kauaʻi where I live, there are 17 heiau located in the Na Pali district, 22 in the district of Haleleʻa, 20 in the Koʻolau district, 13 in the Puna district, and 81 in Kona district. Dedication of these heiau were to the four major gods; KU, KANE, KANALOA, and LONO, who represented Akua in natual phenomena. ʻAumakua were also honored by prayer and offerings.

Hale heiau, house of worship.

heiau hoʻōla: Heiau for treating sick.

heiau hoʻouluʻai: Heiau where first fruits were offered to insure further growth. Lit., heiau for the increase of food crops.

heiau hoʻoulu ua: Heiau where offerings were made to insure rain.

heiau hoʻoulu iʻa: Heiau where fish were offered to insure good fishing.

heiau kālua ua: Heiau for stopping rain, or (less frequently) for bringing rain. One such heiau named Imu-Kālua-ua (rain-baking oven) was in the Kaunakakai quadrangle, Molokaʻi; a land section in Puna, Hawaiʻi, also has this name. Rain in leaf packages is said to have been baked in an oven.

heiau maʻo: Small temporary heiau covered with tapa stained green (maʻo). Used for the hoʻouluʻai ceremony to bring food.

heiau poʻo kanaka: Heiau where human sacrifice was offered.

heiau waikaua: Heiau used for services to bring success in war.

luakini: Temple, church, cathedral, tabernacle; large heiau where ruling chiefs prayed and human sacrifices were offered; to perform temple work.

Luakini-type heiau were the largest and most complex and were sacrificial to KU. The KANE heiau were the simplest and were accessible to commoners. LONO heiau were dedicated to agriculture, and KANALOA heiau were associated with fishing. KU and LONO required complex worship and offerings.

Puʻu honua were places of refuge and restoration of pono when kapu was broken. The puʻu honua were consistent with Hawaiian protocol and would not be adjacent to heiau where human sacrifice was conducted. For example, at the puʻu honua at Wailua, Kauaʻi were for royal birth and burial. At such a place of mana and esteem, respite and peace was sought and mau haʻa lelea or repentance was made.

heiau tower

http://www.kaimi.org/heiau.htm

Moʻokini Luakini

Dyes & Designs in Samoan Siapo

Faʻa Samoa…In the Samoan Way…

Natural Dye
Dyes used in Samoan siapo come from nature. They are extracted or ground from nuts, tree bark, tree sap, roots, and seeds. There are five colors collected: oʻa is brown, lama is black, ago is yellow, loa is red, and soaʻa is purple. The traditional designs are symbols that reflect Samoan natural environment. There are 13 symbols used in siapo and they represent nets, coconut leaf and sennit, the trochus shell, pandanus blooms, pandanus leaves, breadfruit leaf, sandpiper bird designs, starfish, banana pod, rolled pandanus leaves, worm (this is almost extinct), centipede (which has been discontinued), and lastly, logologo (not found in modern siapo to the point that the meaning of this design has been lost). Original siapo artworks are made by combining these design elements (siapo.com).

Design Methods
There are two kinds of siapo design application methods practiced in Samoa and they are Siapo ʻElei (the rubbing method) and Siapo Mamanu (the freehand method). The Siapo ʻElei method leaves an imprint on the uʻa (bark cloth material). This is done by laying the uʻa on a design printing block that is carved into wood, called an upeti, and rubbing the uʻa with a swab that has been dipped in oʻa. Oʻa is a brown dye that is extracted from the bark of the Bishofia javanica, or blood tree. This is a pest in the Hawaiian Islands where it is known as the Bishop Tree or is called koko (blood). It is also called koko in Tonga and other island languages. The oʻa changes color over time from a pale tan to a rich, dark brown.

The next step in the process is to rub a red color over to define the design. Arrowroot plant is used as glue and is dabbed on any small holes, and then a second layer is placed on top and rubbing the oʻa is repeated, this time pressing the two layers together. Sections are joined using arrowroot and rubbing. This is usually the end of the process for large pieces known as ululima and uluselau. But for smaller pieces called vala, the design might be highlighted with more brown dye. Upeti in the older form was of both the sewn midrib variety as in Tongan kupesi, and also carved wood. Today, the men have been carving the upeti and have become the main artist of siapo ʻelei designs. However, they still base their designs on the traditional symbols. One upeti carving can yield many different imprints as dye can be applied to certain areas only to create an interesting design using the positive and negative space (Pacific Tapa, p. 16, 1997).

samoan-siapo-lau-laau

Siapo Mamanu is the freehand method of design and is creatively applied by hand using a dried pandanus brush, called a paogo. The design is created by the artist using black dye to sketch the design, and then the artist may choose to use a veriety of color to finish the piece (siapo.com)

These two methods of desing can also be combined to create unique artwork that is reinvented with each piece of uʻa. Siapo is one of the oldest art forms and symbols of Samoan culture. Used for clothing, burial shrouds, bed covers, ceremonial garments, and much more… (siapo.com)

Hawaiian Word of the Day: hānai

hānai: 1. Foster child, adopted child; foster, adopted. Keiki hānai, foster child. Lawe hānai, to adopt a child. Makua hānai, foster parent. Kāna hānai, his adopted child. 2. To raise, rear, feed, nourish, sustain; provider, caretaker (said affectionately of chiefs by members of the court). Hānai holoholona, to feed and care for domestic animals. Makamaka hānai, generous and hospitable friend. Hānai ā momona, to fatten. Hānai maila ʻoia iāia meli, he fed him the honey. 3. Body of a kōkō net carrier, and cords attached to it; fish net or trap, as for ʻoʻopu fish; kite.

akua hānai: 1. Spirits, as of a recently dead kinsman, who were fed (hānai) offerings (such as food) and sent out to destroy an enemy. 2. The kauila, nioi, and the ʻohe “poison” woods of Molokaʻi, which were kept by sorcerers in their houses, wrapped in tapa, and to which food offerings were made daily; scraps of these woods were used as poison, and poison itself was sometimes called akua hānai.

hānaiāhuhu: To make a pet of an animal; to care for well, as a pet; cherished plans, pet projects. Eia kekahi mau hānaiāhuhu a ke aupuni, here are some favorite plans of the government.

hanaina: Feeding. Eia mai ka moa i hanaina lā, here is the rooster fed in the sun; the cock fed in the sun was believed strong because of turning his head to avoid heat.

Feeding the Birds, by Joanna Dover

Feeding the Birds, by Joanna Dover

art work by Joanna Dover

Tapa Designs from the Kupesi of Tonga

Kupesi design tablets in Tonga are constructed by sewing coconut midribs onto a pandanus or coconut leaf sheath. This style of kupesi, which is still used today, is believed to have spread from Tonga to Fiji and Samoa, and beyond to other islands (tongabarkcloth.com).

The designs on Tongan ngatu are known for commemorating historical events in their motifs. Such memorable things in the life of Tongans as the introduction of bicycles, electric poles, and other historical events have been recorded in ngatu designs to document these occasions. Abstract and natural motifs are used. Ngatu ʻuli is black and used only for funerals, whereas ngatu tahina was lighter and used commonly.

Although ngatu is not worn as clothing anymore it is still highly valued. It continues to be a very important traditional koloa (treasure of women) and given as a gift item at ceremonies such as births, weddings, and funerals. It is given in amounts that make a statement about rank and social standing. This is an important facet of Tongan culture and has been recognized by scholars as part of the Tongan cultural system of gift exchange in a ceremonial economy.

Tongan Kupesi

Tongan Kupesi

Kupesi Print with Hand-painting Overlay

Kupesi Print with Hand-painting Overlay

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