Making Tapa

As ancient Polynesians, including the Hawaiians, didn’t have looms or weave fiber, they made tapa (kapa) for fabric.

Women pounded the fibrous bark of the paper mulberry into strips with their textured wooden mallets. They dyed the resulting fabric and decorated it with geometric figures. Tapa was used to produce clothes, bags, and bed coverings.

Read more about it in “Making Clothes from Trees.”

Want to learn more about how you can use Hawaii’s Historical Newspapers?

Would you like us to come talk to your group or class?

The Hawaii Digital Newspaper Project delivers presentations at classrooms, groups meetings, libraries, and academic conferences.

The project educates the public about Chronicling America and Hawaii newspapers’ significant role in shaping and recording Hawaii’s history.  We can cater our lecture material specifically to your group.

Please contact us at  or (808) 956 – 7094 for more information.

Foot Prints in Maui Lava Flows

Native Hawaiians told stories about the small footprints in the lava flows of Kahikinui, Maui, on the slopes of Haleakala.

They may be of ancient Hawaiians who were standing on a safe area in the middle of a lava flow. K.P. Emory of Bishop Museum believed the footprints were hand carved. The Native Hawaiians said that the footprints were the menehunes’, and that they weren’t walking on hot lava, but rather they were carrying heavy stones to the heiau of Loaloa.

Read more about it in “Foot Prints in Maui Lava Flows.”

Leprosy Topic Guide

Leper. That title has negative connotations as leprosy was thought to be contagious and to have no cure.

In Hawaii, leprosy infected many, especially the Native Hawaiians, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many of them were quarantined in Kalaupapa, Molokai, never to see their loved ones again.

To read more about the history of leprosy in Hawaii and relevant American newspaper articles, read this topic guide about leprosy. “Read more about it!”

Shipping News

Shipping news can contain useful information about traveling people, exports and imports, and happenings in the shipping world. The shipping news is especially important to Hawaii, as shipping connected Hawaii with the outside world.

Check out this feature article about shipping news in Hawaii and “read more about it!”

1911 Prohibition on Poi

Many Americans associate prohibition with alcohol as their country did have one. In 1911, Hawaii also had a prohibition, but for poi.

The Board of Health believed that poi caused two Native Hawaiians to contract cholera and questioned if poi factories and shops were handling the poi in a sanitary manner. Meanwhile, the Native Hawaiians wanted their staple food.

Check out this feature article about the 1911 prohibition on poi and “read more about it!”

Coconut Recipes

With coconut, you can prepare great desserts: coconut cream pie, coconut cake, and coconut bread pudding. See the recipes for these coconut dishes and more in “Liberty Catering.”seq-5