Sought leaves that were flexible, of good tan color and sturdy It was vital to get good raw materials The quality of leaves differs from tree to tree and among locations In part, it depends upon the climate of the location. It must humid enough to provide adequate moisture to the leaf, but also sunny enough to discourage mold Lauhala was washed, soaked, then softened. The thorns and mid-rib were stripped Then the leaves were often placed in the sun to dry and to bleach It was later sorted and bundle, tied together and suspended to air out. Later, it was rolled into bundles which were stored until needed Kūka`a – rolled pack, as of lauhala ready for weaving
When making lauhala, the leaves were cut into the width needed and the strips were softened by drawing them over a hard edged instrument. Once the lauhala was fully prepared, it was cut into strips of uniform size and plaited. Puna district associated with mass growth of pūhala People of Puna were said to have one of the finest art of weaving Made into mats, fans, baskets, bedding, pillows, placemats for food
Literally means long eyes Reed that grows in dry areas such as Kona It grows in water, fishponds Used for weaving People from Ni`ihau and Kaua`i would make moena pāwehe (smooth mats) made of makaloa Kamehameha is said to have had a kīhei (wrap) made of makaloa. It is reported to look like cloth and hand 25 strands of makaloa per inch
5. HALA• Lauhala: leaf of the pūhala – Lā`ele: Old leaf, ready to fall, beginning to dry – Pililā`ele: Close to being all green, still kind of white – Ko`o: light green, lime-looking near the center of a cluster of leaves – Pūkani: new leaf, in center of tree (white)
6. LAUHALA: KŪKA`A
9. MAKALOAPhoto courtesy of Bishop Museum
10. MAKALOAPhoto courtesy of Honolulu Museum of Art
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