A first stage Kapa beater height 13 3/4in
Lot 2016
A rare preliminary stage kapa beater, hohoa, Hawaiian Islands
US$ 3,500 - 5,000
£2,100 - 3,000
Lot Details
A rare preliminary stage kapa beater, hohoa, Hawaiian Islands
length 13 3/4in

According to Buck (1957: 169-170), "The implements used in beating out the bast for tapa were of two forms, one for each of the two distinct stages in beating ... The first type, termed hohoa (hoahoa), was used in the preliminary stage of beating out individual strips of bast. The hohoa, somewhat club-shaped, ranged in length between 14 and 15 inches. The striking part averaged about 8 inches in length and was round .... The beating part, or blade, was quite smooth (mole) in some beaters ... in others, it was grooved to form sharp parallel ridges (nao) ...".

On page 180, Buck goes on to describe the actual beating process: "In the Hawaiian Islands the beating of bark cloth was divided into two stages. The first, or preparatory, stage termed ho'omo'omo'o, consisted of beating the bast which had been soaked in sea water, into long wide strips termed mo'omo'o. This was done with the round hohoa beater on a stone anvil (kua pohaku). The act of beating was also termed hohoa, as distinguished from the act of beating in the next stage, which was termed kuku...The mo'omo'o strips, after being dried and bleached in the sun, were bundled and wrapped in a sheet of tapa to await the second beating stage."

cf. Buck (1957: 170, figure 110b) for a similar example.