Cunningham Gallery

19th Century Hawaiian Wood Kapa Beater with Fiber Cord

$910.00 USD

Historic Artifact, Hawai'i

14" long x 2" wide (35.6 cm x 5.1 cm)

North Pacific, Hawaiian Islands, ca. 19th to early 20th Century CE. A hand-carved wood kapa cloth beater exhibiting a tapered handle and a cuboid beating head.  The center of the shaft is indented, and each flat, triangular face is incised with a series of vertical grooves and attached to the handle is a braided vegetal fiber cord.  Kapa is a particular kind of bark cloth that is made by pounding the fibers using a wooden feather such as this.  The cloth is of great social importance and is often given as a gift, but it once - before synthetic fabrics replace it - was used a everyday wear; today it is worn only at special occasions such as weddings.

The item has abrasions, pressure fissures, with nicks and chips throughout consistent with its use and age.  Heavy patina to wood.  Some fraying to cord near knotted ends.

Certificate of Authenticity from Artemis Gallery, recently acquired from a private collection in San Marcos, TX, originally acquired in Hawai'i.

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