Pukui & Elbert - 1986
Māmaka Kaiao - 2003-10
Lorrin Andrews - 1865
updated: 7/28/2018

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tapa 326


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ʻaʻahu aliʻin. regal attire, a royal robe, a type of colored tapa worn by people of rank.

ʻaekai mokiha [ʻae·kai mokiha]n. ancient type of tapa (no data).

ʻaeokahaloa [ʻae·o·kaha·loa]n. a kind of fine tapa, used in kuni and other ceremonies, as for divining with pebbles. also kahaloa, pālauanahu.

ʻaha₆n. design supposed to resemble the continuing track of a duck, carved on tapa beaters. also ʻahaana, kapuaʻikoloa.

ʻahaʻaina kahukahu [ʻahaʻaina kahu·kahu]n. feast given at the completion of a student's first work (as mat, quilt, tapa, net), or of a child's first fish catch; one purpose was to ask the gods to grant greater knowledge and skill to the craftsman. lit., feast to care for. cf. kahukahu.

ʻahaanan. design said to resemble duck tracks, carved on tapa beaters. also ʻaha, kapuaʻikoloa.

ʻahamaka₁ [ʻaha·maka]n. hammock, as of tapa, fastened to the manuea, center support of a house; hammock in general. lit., sennit meshes.

ʻahapiʻi [ʻaha·piʻi]n. a kind of tapa dyed with kukui bark and decorated with fine lines, for chiefs.

ʻāhiahia, āhiahia [ʻā·hia·hia]vs. faint, obscure, faded; dim, as colors in tapa or cloth.

ahuevt. to make two thicknesses by folding; to double up, fold, as paper or tapa.

ʻahunāliʻi₁ [ʻahu··liʻi]n. a tapa for chiefs, colored with candlenut and noni and striped red.

akaʻaʻamon. a type of fine white tapa. cf. akaaka₂. (GP 8)

akaaka₂, akakan. a white and very thin tapa. cf. akaʻaʻamo.

ʻakahakanaʻi [ʻakaha-ka-naʻi]n. name of a kind of white tapa.

ʻākala₄ [ʻā·kala]n. a pink tapa.

ākeakea₂ [ā·kea·kea]n. a kind of gray tapa.

ʻakoan. a small tree resembling koa; dye was made from its bark, and to color tapa. (And) But cf. kūʻoulena.

akua hānai₂ [akua ·nai]n. the kauila, nīoi₂, and 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.

akua kāʻain. stick image (general name); image wrapped in tapa; image consisting of a carved staff, with a tuft of feathers at the top, bound to its bearer by a sash (kāʻai₁) (Malo 80) and carried into battle; staff with a carved figure at the head, used in ceremonies to procure offspring. (Malo 135, 139)

akua loan. a tall image, especially an image of Lono carried on a circuit of the island during the makahiki, harvest festival; it was called loa, long, because of its "long" travels. The image consisted of a staff about two fathoms long. Pieces of pala fern, feather leis, and skins of the kaʻupu bird were fastened to a crosspiece tied near the top of the staff, in the center of which was a tiny carved head. A long and white tapa banner was attached to the crosspiece. ((Malo 143–5), but see (Malo text, chapter 36, sections 22–4)) Tribute was collected. also Lono Makua.

ʻakukuvt. to beat, as tapa. (Kep. 99)

ʻalaʻihi₂ pale pink tapa; any faded color

alani₂ an Oʻahu tree (Pelea sandwicensis or P. oahuensis), with oblong, fragrant leaves (like the mokihana of Kauaʻi), which were used for scenting tapa. The bark was used for medicine. Also other species of Pelea. PPN *alani.

ālaulau [ā·lau·lau]nvt. clothes, tapa, mats; to envelop, clothe. cf. laulau, wrapper. rare. 

ʻāleuleu [ʻā·leu·leu]nvs. old, worn-out, as tapa, mats, clothing; worn-out tapa, clothing; objects of inferior quality. also pāleuleu.

ʻamaʻu₁n. all species of an endemic genus of ferns (Sadleria), with trunk more or less evident. The fronds are narrower, smaller, and less divided than those of the hāpuʻu. At least one species has at the top of the trunk a mass of soft scales (pulu) used as pillow stuffing. Formerly, in times of famine, the tasteless pith of the trunk was cooked and eaten. The fronds were used to mulch dry-land taro, the stems for plaiting and as sizing for tapa. The ʻamaʻu was one of the forms that Kamapuaʻa, the pig god, could take at will. Also maʻumaʻu, maʻu. see maʻumaʻu. (Neal 22–3) [(CE) PPN *mamaku, fern (cyathea sp.)]

ʻāmoʻomoʻo₁, āmoʻomoʻo [ʻā·moʻo·moʻo]n. small strip of tapa or matting such as can serve as a sample.

ānuenue₂ [ā·nue·nue]n. scallop-like design on tapa and tapa beater.

ʻanuʻu₂n. tower in ancient heiau, about 7 m high and 5.5 m square, as enclosed with white ʻōloa tapa. cf. nuʻu₁.

ʻapen. large taro-like plants (Alocasia macrorrhiza, Xanthosoma robustum). A number of beliefs concerning ʻape have been recorded. ʻape was planted by a gate or fence because the irritating sap of the leaves was thought to ward off evil spirits; leaves were placed under tapas or mats on which the sick lay for the same reason. ʻape was not planted near the house for fear the residents might become sick. Varieties are qualified by the colors kea or keʻokeʻo (white), or hiwa or ʻeleʻele (dark). (Neal 156, 162) [PPN *kape, a plant (alocasia macrorrhiza)]

ʻapeʻulan. kind of tapa, wrapped about images. (Kam. 64:12)

ʻāpikipiki₄ [ʻā·piki·piki]n. a kind of variegated or spotted tapa.

ʻauwaha₁ [ʻau·waha]nvi.
  • ditch, furrow, trench, gutter,
  • canal, channel;
  • groove, as in a tapa beater;
  • to notch, as tops of house posts.
(For. 5:643)

ʻawapuhi₁ [ʻawa·puhi]n. wild ginger (Zingiber zerumbet), a forest herb with narrow leaves arranged along a stalk 30 to 60 cm high, bearing on a separate stalk small yellowish flowers in an oblong head, and having aromatic underground stems; a native of India. (Neal 257) The root was used to scent and dye tapa. Also ʻawapuhi kuahiwi, ʻōpuhi. Several varieties are listed below. [(CE) PPN *kawa-pusi, a fragrant plant]

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ehehoʻopiʻi [ehe·hoʻo·piʻi]n. carved parallel or undulating lines on a tapa beater and on tapa. (AP)

ʻēkahaloa [ʻē·kaha-loa]n. type of tapa.

ʻeleʻele₂n. variety of tapa said to have originated at Kaumakani, Maui; it was dyed with candlenut, pāʻihi, and black mud.

ʻeleuli₂ [ʻele·uli] a rare type of dark-gray or perfumed tapa. (FS 18–9)

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hā₇n. a native tree (Eugenia [Syzygium] sandwicensis), with red, edible fruit about 8.5 mm. in diameter, related to the mountain apple, ʻōhiʻa ʻai. The bark was used to color tapa black. also ʻōhiʻa hā, and pāʻihi (on Maui). (Neal 635)

hāʻanaʻanan. short strips of wauke bark, as used for tapa.

hāʻao₃n. name of a tapa pattern. also uahāʻao, naouahāʻao.

hae₄n. flag, banner (perhaps so called because a piece of torn [hae] tapa was used as a banner). [(NP) PPN *sae, appear]

hāʻena₄n. kind of tapa wrapped about images. (Kam. 64:12)

hāhā- [(AN) PPN *sasa, beat (problematic)]

haikea₂ [hai·kea]n. a type of tapa (no data).

haʻimanawa [haʻi·manawa]n. a thin, delicate white tapa.

hakakaʻe [haka·kaʻe]vs. frail, weak; thin, as tapa or a dress.

hakuhaku₂ [haku·haku]vt. to fold, as tapa; to arrange, put in order. rare.  [PPN *fatu, to fold: (*fa-fatu, *fatu-qi)]

hala₃n. the pandanus or screw pine (Pandanus odoratissimus), native from southern Asia east to Hawaiʻi, growing at low altitudes, both cultivated and wild. It is a tree with many branches, which are tipped with spiral tufts of long narrow, spine-edged leaves; its base is supported by a clump of slanting aerial roots. The pineapple-shaped fruits are borne on female trees whereas the spikes of fragrant, pollenbearing flowers are borne separately on male trees. Many uses: leaves (lau hala) for mats, baskets, hats; the yellow to red fruit sections for leis, brushes; male flowers to scent tapa, their leaflike bracts to plait mats (see hīnano). (Neal 51) The aerial root (uleule) tip is a good source of vitamin B and cooked in ti leaves was used medicinally, although unpleasant tasting. The tree is called pū hala. The hala lei is much liked today but formerly was not worn on important ventures because hala also means failure. For the same reason some persons will not compose songs about hala. Types of hala are listed below. Pineapples are hala plus qualifier. [(AN) PPN *fara, pandanus]

halakea₂ [hala·kea]n. a yellowish tapa dyed with coconut oil.

hale kua₂n. house where tapa was made.

hale kukun. house for beating tapa. also hale kua₂.

hālena₁ [·lena]nvt. yellowish, pale yellow; to bleach, as tapa. see lena₁.

hāluʻa₂ [·luʻa]n. pattern on the surface of a tapa beater or tapa. This term may follow types of beaters, as koʻeau hāluʻa, mole hāluʻa, pūʻili hāluʻa. It also precedes types of beaters, as listed below.

hāluʻapāwehenihomanō [·luʻa-pā·wehe-niho-manō]n. a tapa-beater design. The triangles of the niho manō pattern are bordered by oblique lines pāwehe.

hāluʻapūpū [·luʻa-pū·]n. a tapa-beater pattern with circular motifs (pūpū). also kōnane pūpū.

hame₁n. the two native species of Antidesma, medium-sized trees with hard wood, in the euphorbia family; leaves more or less ovate, fruits in grapelike clusters, purple, one-seeded. Formerly the wood was used for anvils for preparing olonā fiber, the fruit to color tapa red. also haʻā, haʻāmaile, hamehame, mehame. (Neal 500)

hamoʻulanvt. ribbed tapa; to stain or dye with red, as tapa.

hana₃ same as kilohana, a tapa.

hāʻukeʻuke₃n. motif on tapa stamp.

hāwele₂ [·wele]n. a type of tapa (no data).

heiau maʻo [hei·au maʻo]n. small temporary heiau covered with tapa stained green (maʻo), used for the hoʻoulu ʻai ceremony to bring food. (Malo 158)

hili₄n. bark used in dyeing, as hili kukui, hili kōlea, hili noni; the dark-brown dye made from this bark; a tapa dyed with hili; to dye with hili. [(CE) PPN *hiri, to dye with dye obtained from bark: *(f, s)iri]

hiʻuwai₁ [hiʻu·wai]n. water purification festivities on the second night of the month of Welehu (near the end of the year). The people bathed and frolicked in the sea or stream after midnight, then put on their finest tapa and ornaments for feasting and games. (Kep. 97, 193–4)

hoahoa [hoa·hoa] redup. of hoa₃; a rounded tapa beater (also called hohoa, pepehi); rapid beating, striking, as of tapa or pandanus leaves; a stick beater for washing clothes. fig., bad-tempered.

hohoa same as hoahoa, tapa beater, washing stick.

hoholavi. to spread out, unfold, unfurl, as tapa, mats, clouds, wings; to extend, stretch, diffuse. cf. hola, maʻihohola, pāhola. PPN *fofola.

holahia [hola·hia] pas/imp. of hola₁, same as hohola, to spread... PPN *folasia.

hōlei₁ [·lei]n. a small native tree (Ochrosia compta) related to the hao (Rauvolfia) and closely resembling it, but the leaves thicker, the yellow flowers fragrant, and the twinned fruits yellow and much larger. Formerly, bark and roots yielded a yellow dye for tapa. (Neal 691)

hole iʻev. to groove or carve figures in the iʻe tapa beater.

holopapa₁ [holo·papa]n.
  • shelf, ledge, rack,
  • frame on which tapa and other articles were laid;
  • flooring.

honina₂n. name of a tapa dyed with turmeric and worn as a sarong.

honuhonu₃ [honu·honu] a tapa pattern said to have its surface raised in ridges like corduroy. (AP)

hoʻōla₂, hōʻōla [ho·ʻōla₂]n. small piece of tapa; tapa in general (Kauaʻi).

huʻa₄n. pile, as of mats or tapa. also nuʻa. (For. 4:63)

huahekili uka [hua·hekili uka]n. a small native naupaka (Scaevola kilaueae) found only on dry lava near Kīlauea Volcano. It does not exceed a height of 80 cm, has narrow, thick leaves, dull-yellow flowers, and small black fruits that were used to dye tapa. also pāpaʻahekili. (Neal 819–20)

huʻa kapan. pile of tapas. see huʻa₄.

hulilau₁ [huli·lau]n. a variety of large gourd or calabash, used as receptacle for tapa or garments, or for food offerings. fig., a woman, mother, wife.

hūlili₄ [·lili]n. a type of tapa.

hunakānaʻi [huna··naʻi]n. a kind of tapa with white and yellow dots.

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ʻiako₂num. forty, as in counting tapas, canoes, or feathers. (Gram. 10.3)  

iʻeioiokahaloa [iʻe-io·io-kaha-loa]n. kind of brown tapa made at Waipiʻo, Hawaiʻi. lit., tapa beater with ridges of long stripes.

iʻe kuku hoʻōkin. tapa beater, as used to finish the tapa. lit., finishing-beating mallet.

iho₃n. collective terms for inner layers of white sleeping tapas below the kilohana.

ʻīloli₂ [ʻī·loli]vs. spotted, daubed with color, as tapa; speckled, as overripe pandanus keys.

imu loan. oven used as a sweat bath: the hot rocks of the oven were covered with a thick layer of greenery (as ginger, maile, ti); the patient lay here and was covered with more leaves and tapa; the treatment was said to last ten days and included prayers; its purpose was to remove the influence of sorcery. lit., long oven [with idea that a long life would follow].

ipu₁n. the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria, also L. vulgaris), a wide-spreading vine, with large-angled or lobed leaves, white, night blooming flowers, and smooth green and mottled or white fruits varying widely in shape and size. The plant is a native of tropical Asia or Africa. Hawaiians have long used gourds as receptacles, small gourds with thin walls to hold water or food, or for rattles for dances (the ipu has a fine tone, halfway between that of niu and laʻamia), larger ones with thin to thick walls to hold tapa and other articles or to serve as drums. Orientals cook and eat the white pulp of green fruits. Hawaiians have distinguished between a kind with bitter pulp, used medicinally, and a kind with nonbitter pulp. For gourds classified according to shape and color see hōkeo, hue, hulilau, kūkaeʻiwa, ʻolo, poʻokanaka. cf. pule ipu. (Neal 812–3) PPN *ipu.

iwipuhi [iwi-puhi]n. design on a tapa beater and on tapa consisting of a herringbone figure with a long ridge in the center; design in plaited hat braids, as forming the pāpale ʻie. lit., eel bone.

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kāʻaha, kaʻahan. stick, rod, or wand with leaves and tapa at one end, held by the priest while sacrificing in the temple.

kaha₇n. a kind of tapa. (Kam. 76:111)

kahaloa₁ [kaha·loa] short for ʻaeokahaloa, a tapa.

kahi kālena [kahi ·lena]vt. to stretch out smooth by rubbing, as in making tapa. lit., rub stretch out.

kaiʻoloan. ceremony of tying fine white tapa (ʻoloa) as a malo on an image. (Malo 148, 154)

kākākau₂ [··kau]n. a cuplike dish, usually of stone, used to hold tapa-printing or tattooing dye.

kā kāpala [ ·pala]n. dye container, probably so called because the edge of the container was hit () with the bamboo stamp to dislodge excess dye before printing the tapa.

kākau₁ [·kau]nvt. to write, sign; to print on tapa; to mark out for distribution, as land (Ios. 18:6, 8) ; writing. (Probably kā-, causative + kau, to place) [PPN *tatau, tattoo]

kalewai [kale·wai]n. kind of light-brownish tapa.

kalukalu₃ [kalu·kalu]n. fine gauze-like tapa made on Kauaʻi, reserved for chiefs.

kāmaʻa [·maʻa]n. shoe, sandal, slipper, boot; ti-leaf or tapa sandal; shoes. (kā-, causative + maʻa, to bind.) [(CE) PPN *taamaka, sandals]

kamalena [kama·lena]nvs. yellow, yellow-hued; tapa dyed yellow with ʻōlena.

kao₅n. goat. (See (Gram. 2.9.2) )

kapa₁n. tapa, as made from wauke or māmaki bark; formerly clothes of any kind or bedclothes; quilt (various kinds are listed below). [(NP) PPN *tapa, bark-cloth]

kapa₂vt. to call, term, give a name to. [PPN *tapa, announce, proclaim, name]

kapa₃loc.n. edge, border, brim, boundary; side, as of a road; bank, as of a stream (often not preceded by ke). (Gram. 8.6)   [(EO) PPN *tapa, edge, margin]

kapa₄n. labia. [(EO) PPN *tapa, labia]

kapaaho [kapa-aho]n. a tapa formerly made at Waimea, Kauaʻi. (GP 8)

kapa ʻāpana [kapa ʻā·pana]n. quilt with appliquéd designs. lit., piece tapa. also kapa lau.

kapa kailoc.n. border of the sea, seashore, seaside, coast; sometimes interpreted as west or komohana. (Gram. 8.6)   PCP *tapatai.

kapakapa₁ [kapa·kapa] plural of kapa₃; human crotch; kilu quoit shots that stray from the mark. [(CE) PPN *tapa-tapa, groin, crotch]

kapakapa₂ [kapa·kapa] redup. of kapa₂, to call, term, give a name to... to invoke, summon. PPN *tapatapa.

kapa kuʻinan. stitched tapas for bed covering. cf. kuʻinakapa.

kāpala₁ [·pala]nvt. printing, stamping, blot, daub, to stain; to smear, smudge, blot, daub, dab, stain, spot; to paint or print a design, as on tapa; smudged, blurred; to spread as butter on bread.

kapa moen. blanket, quilt, bedspread (general name); sleeping tapa.

kapa paʻūpaʻū [kapa paʻū·paʻū] see paʻūpaʻū₂, tapa.

kapa peʻan. filthy rags; tapa worn by women in the menstruation hut (hale peʻa).

kapa pilin. lined quilt that is not padded, formerly used as a top sheet (old-time Hawaiians did not put a bottom sheet on top or vice versa, due to strict taboos concerning body contact). lit., clinging tapa.

kapuaʻikoloa [kapu·aʻi-koloa]n. design on tapa beater consisting of a series of Gothic arches. lit., wild duck tracks. also ʻaha.

kau₆n. center tapa under which the stone was hidden in the game of pūhenehene.

kauhola₁ [kau·hola]vi. to open, unfold, as a tapa; to expand, as a flower in bloom. cf. hola.

kaula hoʻoluʻu kapa [kaula hoʻo·luʻu kapa]n. cord for marking tapa.

kaumanu₁ [kau·manu]n. paper mulberry too old to be used for tapa.

kau weluv. to hang conspicuously a tapa as a taboo sign; to hoist a tapa banner as indication that the makahikiceremonies had begun. lit., hang rag. (Kam. 64:19)

kāwaʻu₃ [·waʻu] same as heaʻe, a variety of Zanthoxylum dipetalum, the wood of which was used for tapa-beating anvils.

kelewai [kele·wai]n. coarse tapa, as made from māmaki bark or from the waste of better grade tapa.

kīauau₃ [·au·au]vt. to smooth out wrinkles from tapa or clothes with light, deft touches.

kīheʻaheʻa palaʻā [·heʻa·heʻa palaʻā]n. coloring matter for tapa made from the palaʻā fern.

kīhei [·hei]nvt.
  • shawl, cape, afghan;
  • cloak of makaloa matting;
  • rectangular tapa garment worn over one shoulder and tied in a knot;
  • bed covering;
  • to wear a kīhei.
[(CE) PPN *tifa, insert, inlay, patch (problematic)]

kihi moen. name of one of the places, as under a tapa, where the noʻa stone was hidden in the game of pūhenehene.

kihi puka₂n. name of one of the places under a tapa, where the noʻa stone was hidden in the game of pūhenehene.

kikaman. white tapa made of wauke.

kīkepa₂ [·kepa]vi. to lean over to one side, to cover one side; to turn to the side; to place in a one-sided manner; on the side, as a tapa or lei worn over one shoulder and under the opposite arm.

kīkomo₁ [·komo]vt. to inlay; to mix, as sap from tree-fern fronds (palaholo) and māmaki bark with wauke bark while beating tapa.

kīkoni [·koni]nvt.
  • small adze used for smoothing and finishing a canoe;
  • to smooth and finish a canoe;
  • to soften wauke bark for tapa making;
  • to pierce or lance a swelling; a piercing,
  • to peck; a peck,
  • to blaze, as a tree; a blaze;
  • to rap on the forehead, usually with a single knuckle, especially as a gesture of rudeness or contempt, hence to treat contemptuously.
cf. kīkēkē, to rap with all the knuckles.

kilikaʻa₂ [kili·kaʻa]n. a kind of tapa, associated with Waipiʻo, Hawaiʻi.

kilohana₁ [kilo·hana]nvs. name of the outside, decorated sheet of tapa in the kuʻinakapa, bed coverings; the four inner layers were white, contrasting with the decorated kilohana. Hence extended meanings: best, superior, excellent.

kiʻolena [kiʻo·lena]nvt. tapa-drying and bleaching place; to dry and bleach tapa; to dye tapa.

kīpū₁ [·]nvt.
  • to hold back or brace, as a canoe on a wave with a paddle;
  • to rein in, as a horse;
  • to remain, as mist or rain;
  • to fold tightly about one, as a blanket;
  • steersman.

kīwaʻawaʻa₂ [·waʻa·waʻa]n. type of coarse, rough tapa.

kīwawā₂ [·wawā]n. mulberry bark partly beaten into tapa.

koahan. young shoots of mulberry plant used for medicine; soft mulberry fiber used for making fine white tapa.

koaiʻen. a native tree (Acacia koaia), much like the koa but smaller, the pods narrower and with seeds arranged vertically in the pod, rather than horizontally as in koa, and leaves averaging narrower; the wood is harder, formerly used for spears, fancy paddles, and for the iʻe tapa beater; later for furniture. fig., person from the upland country. Also koaiʻa. cf. huʻe. (Neal 405)

koʻeau [koʻe·au]n. design on a tapa beater or on tapa consisting of gently waving, delicate parallel lines (the waves are smaller and less jagged than those of the hāʻao). cf. pūʻili.

koʻi holen. pig's jawbone used for grooving (hole) boards for making ribbed tapa. (Kam. 76:112)

kōlea₄ [·lea]n. native species of trees and shrubs (Myrsine [Rapanea, Suttonia]) with oval to narrow leaves more or less crowded at branch tips, small flowers, and small round fruits among or below the leaves. Uses: red sap and charcoal from the wood to dye tapa, wood for houses, logs for beating tapa. (Neal 664)

kōnane pūpū [·nane ·]n. a tapa-beater pattern; a kōnane checkerboard design with rounded pits (pūpū) in the middle of each square.

kōpili₁ [·pili]n. thin, transparent tapa made of mulberry bark.

kōpili₂ [·pili] small white tapa placed over images and altars during religious services; the ceremony; to perform the ceremony. Also kōpilo nui.

  • to hew, chop, chip, hack, dub, strike, cut out;
  • to fell, strike down, as an image (Oihk. 26:30) ;
  • anvil, as of a blacksmith or for beating tapa;
  • house used for beating tapa.
[(NP) PPN *tua, fell, chop down]

kua kukun. wooden anvil, as used for beating tapa.

kualena [kua·lena]vt. to stretch, as tapa to free from wrinkles; taut. fig., to concentrate the thoughts.

kuamū₄ [kua·]n. a tapa used in sorcery ceremonies.

kuaʻulan. ribbed or grooved tapa, as made with a grooved board.

kuehu, kuwehuvt.
  • to shake, stir up, as dust;
  • to knock a club from a foe's hands;
  • to toss up, as spray;
  • to brandish, wave;
  • to clear of weeds;
  • to drive off, especially evil spirits (tapa or ti leaves were torn into strips, blessed, and passed over a patient in order to exorcise spirits).
cf. ehu, spray.
see Kuehu Lepo.

kuehu kapav. to shake a tapa in a way that seems innocent but that will bring a curse upon the person to whom the motion is directed. (Kam. 64:141)

kuekue [kue·kue]nvt. sound of tapping, tap, as of a mallet on a tapa anvil; to tap-tap.

kūhili₁ [·hili]vt. to stain or dye by soaking in water containing mashed bark, as nets or mulberry bark before it is pounded into tapa. cf. hili, bark dye.

kūkaʻa₁ [·kaʻa]nvt. roll, bolt of cloth; rolled pack, as of pandanus leaves ready for plaiting; to roll up, as a bundle of cloth or tapa; to swell up.

kuku₁vt. to beat, as tapa. [(WP) PPN *tutu, to beat out bark into felt]

  • candlenut tree (Aleurites moluccana), a large tree in the spurge family bearing nuts containing while, oily kernels which were formerly used for lights;
  • hence the tree is a symbol of enlightenment.
  • the nuts are still cooked for a relish (ʻinamona).
  • the soft wood was used for canoes,
  • gum from the bark was used for painting tapa;
  • black dye was obtained from nut coats and from roots,
  • (nuts were chewed and spat into the sea by men fishing with nets for parrot fish (kākā₄ uhu₁) in order to calm the sea (FS 38–9): see ex. pili₁).
  • polished nuts are strung in leis;
  • the silvery leaves and small white flowers are strung in leis as representative of Molokaʻi, as designated in 1923 by the Territorial legislature.
  • the kukui was named the official emblem for the State of Hawaii in 1959 because of its many uses and its symbolic value.
  • kukui is one of the plant forms of Kamapuaʻa that comes to help him (FS 215).
  • called kuikui on Niʻihau.
see lei kukui. (Neal 504–7) [(FJ) PPN *tui-tui, candlenut tree (aleurites moluccana)]

kulipuʻu, kuli-puʻu [kuli·puʻu]n. design with zigzag stripes, in tapas, mats, and quilts. lit., bent knees. also nihowilihemo.

kuni₃n. type of black magic that results in the death of a sorcerer, achieved by burning an object taken from the corpse of the sorcerer's victim; to practice kuni. Pebbles and kukui nuts used for discovering the sorcerer were wrapped in tapa such as ʻaeokahaloa, ʻēkahaloa, ʻōʻūholowai, and puakai. Malo, Chapter 28

kūʻoulena₁ [kūʻou·lena] a kind of coarse tapa. also ʻakoa. (AP)

kūpalu [·palu]vt.
  • to stuff with food, fatten, hence to make a favorite;
  • to attract fish by chumming, as with decayed pork;
  • to mash to a pulp, sometimes said of tapa particles or cloth beaten into tapa as it is being prepared.
cf. palu.

kūpaoa₂ [·paoa]n. night cestrum (Cestrum nocturnum) and other strong-smelling plants; by some authorities Peperomia spp., Railliardia spp., and a plant used to scent tapa (see pele₃). also ʻala aumoe, onaona Iāpana.

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lāʻau kāpalapala [lāʻau ·pala·pala]n. bamboo stamp for marking tapas. lit., printing stick.

laʻiokona₂ [laʻi-o-Kona] design on a tapa beater.

lapa₃n. bamboo liners, for tapa printing.

lauhuki₁ [lau·huki]nvt. tapa soaking, to soak tapa.

Lauhuki₂ [lau·huki]n. name of a goddess worshipped by tapa makers.

laumaʻun. design on a tapa beater, said to suggest the maʻu leaf.

launiun. design on a tapa beater.

leihala₂ [lei-hala]n. plaiting and tapa designs consisting of a series of inverted triangles, suggestive of a hala lei.

lelepe₁n. toothed, sharp-pointed design, as in tapa.

lepa₁n. flag, ensign, place marked by a flag, tapa cloth on end of a stick, as used to mark a taboo area. [triangular flag, as at used car lots, (NKE)] cf. kālepa. PCP *lepa.

loli₃vs. spotted, speckled, daubed; to color in spots, as tapa. cf. ʻīloli₂.

luanuʻu [lua·nuʻu] dressed out in tapa, as temple images in Lono's temple on important occasions. (And.)

lūlehuan. a red tapa design.

lupe₁n. kite. Four types of lupe were said to exist;
  • lupe , a round kite, lit., sun kite;
  • lupe mahina, kite with tapa covering cut in a crescent shape, lit., moon kite;
  • lupe manu, kite with wings on the side, lit., bird kite;
  • lupe maoli, kite suggestive of European kites in shape, lit., genuine kite.
cf. kaʻiālupe, to support a sick or intoxicated person between two other persons. lit., lead like a kite... PPN *lupe.

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maʻaloa [maʻa·loa]n. a low native shrub (Neraudia melastomaefolia), related to the māmaki, and like it, having strong bark formerly used for making tapa. also ʻoloa, maʻoloa.

māʻauea₃, māʻauwea [māʻau·ea]n. plant listed by Kamakau as used for tapa.

māhuna₂ [·huna]n. fine scented tapa dyed with noni bark, made under strict taboo and reserved for chiefs; used for the best pāʻū (sarongs) on Hawaiʻi. (FS 253)

māiki₂ [·iki]n. an ancient type of tapa (no data).


makaliʻiliʻi [maka·liʻi·liʻi] redup. of makaliʻi, tiny, very small, fine, wee, small-meshed...

makanunui [maka·nunui]vs. widely spaced, as grooves on a tapa beater.

maka-ʻupenan. design, as carved on a tapa beater and used in quilting.

makuʻu₂n. bundle, as of white tapa fastened to ridgepole during certain ceremonies. (Malo 171)

mālolo₃ [·lolo]n. an ancient type of tapa (no data).

māluaʻula [·luaʻula]n. type of tapa stained with dye made of kukui bark.

māmaki [·maki]n. small native trees (Pipturus spp.) with broad white-backed leaves and white mulberry-like fruit; the bark yielded a fiber valued for a kind of tapa, similar to that made from wauke but coarser. Often misspelled mamake. also waimea. see ex. wale₁. (Neal 318–9) [PPN *mati, a tree (ficus tinctoria)]

maolua [mao·lua]n. a kind of red tapa.

maʻomaʻo₂ [maʻo·maʻo]n. a green tapa, as of māmaki bark.

maʻuʻavs. careless, as of clothing, mats, tapa, property.

moelola [moe·lola]n. striped tapa; an outer sheet (kilohana) for bed covers, as made by laying a red cloth or tapa over a white tapa in long panels with intervening white spaces, and then beating it into the tapa; striped. cf. paʻiʻula.

moelua [moe·lua]vs. striped, of two colors of about same width and lying parallel, as of tapa. cf. moekolu, weke.

mole₃n. name of the smooth, uncarved side of a tapa beater, as used at the end of the beating to smooth out the cloth.

mole hāluʻa [mole ·luʻa]n. stripes (hāluʻa) on an otherwise smooth surface of a tapa beater; beater with one side smooth, and the other designed.

moʻo₅n. small fragment, as of tapa, not attached to a large piece. cf. moʻomoʻo₁, strips of wauke bast...

moʻomoʻo₁ [moʻo·moʻo] same as moʻo₅; strips of wauke bast beaten together from which tapa sheets are to be made. (Kam. 76:113)

muimuia₂ [mui·muia]vs. inharmonious, of juxtaposed colors, as on tapa or quilt.

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naʻenaʻe₃ [naʻe·naʻe]n. design on outer sheet of a sleeping tapa.

nao₁nvs. ripple; ridge, as of twilled cloth or a tapa beater; groove; streak on tapa; grain of wood or stone; thread of a screw; crevice, as in rocks; grooved. see naohoʻopaʻi. [PPN *ŋao, depression, groove, engraved mark]

naohāluʻa₁ [nao-hā·luʻa]n. a tapa pattern with lines.

naohoʻopaʻi [nao-hoʻo·paʻi]n. tapa beater pattern.

naouahāʻao [nao-ua-hāʻao] same as hāʻao₃, a tapa pattern.

naouananahuki [nao-ua-nana·huki]n. name of a tapa design.

  • to rumble, as an earthquake;
  • sighing, soughing, as of the wind;
  • indistinct sound, as of distant shouting.

niholiʻiliʻi [niho-liʻi·liʻi]n. a tapa design. lit., small teeth or notches.

nihomanō [niho-manō]n. a tapa design. lit., shark tooth.

ninikea [nini·kea]n. white tapa, as worn by priests during ceremonies.

noʻa₂n.v. a game in which the noʻa was hidden under bundles of tapa and the players guessed where it was; to play this game. fig., secret thoughts or plans. (Malo 225–6)

noʻenoʻe₁ [noʻe·noʻe]vs. printed, of tapa; colored. cf. kīhei ʻaʻahu noʻenoʻe.

nounou pūniu [nou·nou ·niu]n. game of throwing tapa balls at suspended coconut shells.

  • swollen, puffed up; to swell up;
  • to swathe or roll up, as an article in tapa;
  • to fold, bind.
[(MP) PPN *ŋuŋu, rheumatism, arthritis]

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ʻohe kāpala, ʻohe kāpalapala [ʻohe ·pala, ʻohe ·pala·pala]n. piece of bamboo carved for printing tapa; bamboo stamp. lit., printing bamboo.

oho lupalupa₂ [oho lupa·lupa]n. name of a tapa design.

ʻohuʻohu₂n. white tapa with black dots and figures.

ʻoi₂nvs. best, superior, superb, main, prominent, exceeding; to exceed, excel; left-over, extra, remaining, above, odd.

ola₂ see hoʻōla, small piece of tapa...

ʻōlena₁ [ʻō·lena]n. the turmeric (Curcuma domestica, also incorrectly called C. longa), a kind of ginger distributed from India into Polynesia, widely used as a spice and dye in foods, to color cloth and tapa, and medicinally for earache and lung trouble. A cluster of large leaves rises from thick, yellow underground stems, which are the useful part of the plant, either raw or cooked. (Neal 255–6) PPN *renga.

ʻoloa₂nvt. fine white tapa, said to have been placed over an image during prayers (Laie 467); perhaps a verb to make ʻoloa tapa. (For. 6:444) [PPN *koloa, valuable possessions]

olokele₂ [olo·kele]n. a kind of tapa associated with Nāpali, Kauaʻi. (GP 8–9)

olomea₃ [olo·mea]n. kind of wauke tapa dyed with ʻōhiʻa bark, hōlei, and coconut water.

ʻōlulo₃ [ʻō·lulo]n. gourd container, as for bamboo stamps used for marking tapas.

ʻōmaʻo₄ [ʻō·maʻo]n. greenish tapa.

ʻōniʻo [ʻō·niʻo]vs. spotted, streaked with various colors, as a pig, or as tapa prints.

ʻōnohi ʻulan.
  • red eyeball;
  • red rainbow segment;
  • cloud with red hues of rainbow;
  • variety of red tapa;
  • fig., fury, anger.

ʻopihi₃n. design for tapa and mats consisting of small triangles, probably named for the limpet.

ʻou₁nvs. sharp, protruding, piercing; to protrude, project, jut out, pierce, puncture; to reach out for; to stretch out; to sound sharply; pinnacle, high peak; royal; sharp sound as of knee drum or of tapa anvil. [(CE) PPN *kou, protuberance: *ko(q)u]

ʻōʻūholowaiolaʻa [ʻōʻū-holo-wai-o-Laʻa]n. a well-known kind of tapa said to have been associated with the goddess Laka and to be used in kuni ceremonies. (FS 253)

ʻouʻou₂nvi. a sharp sound, as of a tapa mallet or of a tapping knee drum; to sound thus.

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pāʻāʻā₂n. inferior tapa made from small lengths of bark.

pahoʻolā [pahoʻo·] torn tapa. (And.)

pahu palapala [pahu pala·pala]n. writing desk; formerly a container for the coloring liquid used in printing tapa. lit., document box.

  • to slap, spank, beat, hit, clap; a slapping, slap,
  • to print, publish; stamping, printing
  • to snap, as pictures;
  • to break, as a taboo;
(several old types of tapa begin with paʻi: paʻipaʻinahā, paʻiua, paʻiʻula; preceded by ke).
cf. paʻi ā paʻi, paʻi kiʻi, paʻi puna. [(AN) PPN *paki, slap]

pāʻihi₁n. a small weed (Nasturtium sarmentosum), related to watercress; used medicinally and as a tapa dye. cf. ʻihi kū kēpau. (Neal 372) PPN *pakisi.

paʻi kukuin. a kind of dark tapa cloth dyed with juice from kukui bark, said to be from Hālawa, Molokaʻi (Ii 83). According to (And) , a pale yellow tapa made on Molokaʻi. also paʻipaʻi kukui.

paʻiniu [paʻi-niu]n. a very thin type of tapa.

paʻipaʻi₁ [paʻi·paʻi] redup. of paʻi₁, to slap, spank, beat, hit, clap...;
  • to applaud, clap; applause;
  • to sprinkle coloring matter (as charcoal or red cloth) on tapa and beat it in.
PPN *pakipaki.

paʻiua [paʻi·ua]n. fine, white tapa.

paʻiʻula₁n. tapa made by beating red rags or tapa pieces to form a mixture of white and red (as outer or kilohana sheet for bedcovers). also welu ʻula. cf. moelola.

pakē₃n. plain undyed tapa. rare. 

pākea₂ [·kea]n. white inner sheets of sleeping tapa.

paku₁vt. to unite portions of tapa by beating. rare.  [(AN) PPN *patu, strike with a blow]

palaʻā₂n. a tapa of māmaki bark dyed brownish-red with palaʻā fern, of silky quality.

palaholo₁ [pala·holo]n. rolled-up frond of the ʻamaʻu fern; paste made of sap from the fronds, used in welding strips of tapa together. tapa made with old torn pieces added to new pieces was also called palaholo. (For. 5:641)

palaʻie₂nvi. to play the game of loop and ball; the game itself: a flexible stick made of braided coconut leaflets with a loop at one end and a tapa ball on a string attached below the loop, the object being to catch the ball in the loop; this game was often played to a chant.

palalei [pala·lei]n. uncut tapa fringe. rare. 

pālani [·lani]vi. to skim lightly; to paint or daub lightly, especially to paint tapa in light shades. cf. mālani. [PPN *pala, smear, smudge: *pala(-i,-ngi,-si)]

palapala₁ [pala·pala]nvt. document of any kind, bill, deed, warrant, certificate, policy, letter, tract, writ, diploma, manuscript; writing of any kind, literature; printing on tapa or paper; formerly the Scriptures or learning in general; to write, send a written message.

pālauanahu [·lau·anahu] same as ʻaeokahaloa, a tapa.

palelei [pale·lei]n. head covering of tapa wrapped over the head with the ends hanging down in front. rare. 

palepale₁ [pale·pale] redup of:
  • pale₁ to ward off, thrust aside, parry...; to parry, as in boxing.
  • pale₂ to deliver, as a child...;
  • pale₃ to cover, overlay, line; to form a barrier...;
PNP *palepale.

pāleuleu [·leu·leu]vs. old, worn-out, as tapa, mats, or clothing. cf. ʻāleuleu.

palūpalū [palū·palū]n. a kind of yellow tapa.

paniki coloring matter, as for tapa. (And.)

papa holen. smooth, planed lumber; grooved board for making ribbed tapa.

paʻūpaʻū₂ [paʻū·paʻū]n. overlaid tapa (Kam. 76:115) said to be so called because it was wet during its manufacture; sometimes worn by dancers.

pele₃n. choice Kauaʻi tapa (FS 252–3), scented with maile and kūpaoa, said to be gray and dyed with charcoal made of burned sugar cane mixed with coconut water (preceded by ke).

pepehi₂n. surface of a tapa beater formed by deep grooves with the wide ridges (up to 14) rounded off in the form of an inverted U; sometimes the beater itself was so called. cf. hoahoa, hohoa.

pepele same as pele₃, a tapa.

pili₇n. uncolored sheets in a kapa kuʻina, sleeping tapa.

pilimoe [pili-moe]n. name of one of the tapas in the game of pūhenehene.

pilipuka₂ [pili·puka] one of the tapa covers in the pūhenehene game, which were named for different parts of the night.

pipi₄ a kind of tapa.

pōʻaha₁n. circle, as of flowers; ring, as of tapa about a sore that prevents friction; a round support for a calabash made of pandanus or ti leaves wrapped into a ring and bound with a cord.

poʻakan. scar; mark, as of tattooing or tapa design.

pōhaku o Kāne [·haku o kāne]n. stone monuments that were places of refuge (puʻuhonua) where families made offerings, such as pig, red fish, kava, and tapas, to atone for wrong-doing. lit., stone of Kāne. (Kam. 64:32–3)

poho₇n. a bundle of tapa pieces (moʻomoʻo). rare. 

poho hoʻoluʻu [poho hoʻo·luʻu]n. cup of coconut shell, gourd, or stone, containing dye for tapa.

poho kāpalapala [poho ·pala·pala]n. container for tapa dye.

poʻipū₂ [poʻi·]n. a kind of tapa.

polohiwa [polo·hiwa]vs. dark, glistening black, as clouds or tapa. (Kep. 175)

Pōpōkapa [·pō-kapa]n. rain name. lit., tapa bundle, so-called because people bundled up tapa during rains to keep it from becoming wet. also Pōpōua.

pōʻulu₁n. bark of tender breadfruit shoots, as used for less fine tapa.

pū₈vi. to divide by lot: pebbles or seeds were placed under a tapa, and divided unseen into heaps, and the players drew to get the largest heaps.

puahala [pua-hala]n. design in tapa and patchwork quilts.

puakai₂ [pua·kai]nvs. red of tapa or malo dyed with noni juice (Malo 49); a red tapa used in kuni ceremonies. see wauke puakai.

puakoali [pua·koali]n. a tapa colored by beating in sandalwood. (Kam. 76:157)

pualiʻi₂ [pua·liʻi]n. kind of tapa used for loincloths and sarongs.

puaniu [pua·niu]n. a tapa dyed with coconut, probably oil; a tapa dye. (Kam. 76:109)

puelanvs. a long tapa strip, as used for a marker or banner; narrow, thin, as a banner.

puhiʻōniʻo [puhiʻō·niʻo]vt. to paint in spotted colors, as tapa.

pūʻili₃n. a type of tapa-beater pattern: tips of zigzag ridges in adjacent surfaces meet and form sunken lozenges. cf. koʻeau, in which the ridges are parallel.

pūkohukohu [·kohu·kohu]vs. red, of tapa, as dyed with noni juice (Malo 49). (FS 252–3)

pūloʻu₁ [·loʻu]nvt. to cover the head; head covering. hood (Hopita). [(CE) PPN *puuroku, cover head]

pūloʻu₃ [·loʻu]n. a black tapa made of wauke, same as ʻōʻūholowai (but (Kam) says this was made of māmaki bark). (Malo 48)

pūloʻuloʻu₂ [·loʻu·loʻu]n. a tapa-covered ball on a stick (pahu) carried before a chief as insignia of taboo.

pulu₃nvt. any greenery or underbrush cut to be used as mulch, as well as the mulch itself; coconut husk, coconut fiber, raw cotton, tapa pulp; cushion; fine linen; tinder, kindling; soft, padded; to kindle, as fire (preceded by ke). See ex. see ex. ʻē₁. [(MP) PPN *pulu, coconut husk fibre]

pūnana₃ [·nana]n. a process of making women's pāʻū; white tapa.

pūnana keʻokeʻo [·nana keʻo·keʻo]n. white tapa used for making pāʻū.

pūnoni [·noni]nvs. red dye from noni-root bark; red, as tapa dyed thus.

puʻoa pas/imp. of puʻō, bluster, onslaught, as of high wind or dashing waves...

pūpū₂ [·]n. any circular motif, as in tapa.

pupupu₃n. temporary hut, as for shelter from the sun for beating tapa; hovel; covering.

pupupu₄n. white tapa.

puʻu₁₀vt. to cast or draw lots, as with a knotted string, or by heaping up pebbles under a tapa, and guessing the number in each heap, or calling one heap positive and the other negative, with the answer to the question provided by the heap with the greatest number of pebbles.

puʻukoʻa₂ [puʻu·koʻa]n. a reddish-brown tapa.

puʻukohukohu [puʻu·kohu·kohu]n. a gray tapa, Waipiʻo, Hawaiʻi.

puʻulepo [puʻu-lepo]n. a reddish-brown tapa.

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ū₂vs. moist, soaked; to drip, drizzle, ooze; impregnated, as with salt. cf. kawaū, koʻū, maʻū.

ʻuʻa₂n. a coarse mat or tapa.

uahāʻao [ua-hāʻao] same as hāʻao₃, a tapa pattern.

uʻauʻa [uʻa·uʻa]n. a tapa dyed as with ʻōlena (turmeric) or noni.

uauahi [ua·uahi]nvs. smoky-gray color, as of tapa; gray quality, as of a whitened sugar-cane leaf; smoky, hazy; a reddish-blue tapa. (Kam. 76:157)

uhaʻi₂n. covering for door opening, doorway frame.

uhi₆n. mark made by the gall of raw pūpū ʻawa (a shellfish) on tapa or on the skin as an ornament. tattoo (NKE12) [(EP) PPN *uhi, tattooing instrument]

uhiwai₂ [uhi·wai]n. type of tapa.

ʻukiʻukin. Dianella sandwicensis, a native member of the lily family, with a short stem and long, narrow leaves, from among which arises a cluster of white or bluish flowers. The attractive fruits are blue, long-persistent berries formerly used to dye tapa. (Neal 191–2)

ʻuku kapan. body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus). lit., tapa louse.

ʻulaʻula₆n. a red tapa.

ulu₆n. kind of tapa made at Waipiʻo, Hawaiʻi; name of a quilt design.

ʻupenapupu [ʻupena-pupu]n. a tapa-beater design with net meshes enhanced with small circles.

ʻūpiki₂ [ʻū·piki] a tapa stamp.

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waiʻele₁n. black tapa dye; tapa so dyed.

wailau₂ [wai·lau]n. an ancient variety of tapa. (For. 5:112)

wailiʻiliʻi [wai·liʻi·liʻi]n. a decorated tapa. lit., small colors.

waiʻoʻopu [wai-ʻoʻopu]n. type of tapa.

waipalupalu [wai-palu·palu]n. a kind of tapa. lit., soft dye or pattern.

wale₁n. slime, mucus, phlegm; sticky sap, as from cuts in tree ferns and māmaki wood that is mixed with bark in making tapa. cf. waha wale. [PPN *wale, slimy, slimy substance]

wauken. the paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), a small tree or shrub, from eastern Asia, known throughout the Pacific for its usefulness. It belongs to the fig or mulberry family. The bark was made into tough tapa used for clothing, bed clothes; it lasted longer than māmaki tapa. cf. poʻaʻaha₂. (Neal 301) [(CE) PPN *aute, paper mulberry]

wauke puakai [wauke pua·kai]n. wauke bast dyed red for use as coloring material in tapa. (Kam. 76:114)

welu ahin. ball of tapa cord used to carry fire.

welu ʻulan. red rag; tapa made of pieces of red tapa beaten up with other tapa. also paʻiʻula.

weoweo₃ [weo·weo]n. a type of tapa.

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