Vintage Hula Skirt & Kapa Tapa Rare Hawaiiana 1930s

by Ellen Flanz, Bozeman Mont on May 6, 2011

Vintage Hula Skirt & Kapa Tapa Rare Hawaiiana 1930s

vintage hula skirt rare Hawaiiana

vintage hula skirt & kapa, 1930s

A rare surviving example of vintage Hawaiiana – a vintage hula skirt and kapa. Skirt of hand-knotted grass, the kapa (or tapa, as known in the other Polynesian islands) bandeau top is soft bark cloth that has been hand-painted. Reviewed with the head of collections at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, who gives this a Samoan, or probably Tongan, provenance.

Bing Crosby, Amelia Earhart, and Hollywood glitterati all ‘discovered’ Waikiki in the 1920s, and things were never the same. There was very little local production of hula pieces in the 1930s to satisfy the new demand from the influx of mainland tourists to Waikiki, consequently pieces were imported into Hawaii from Tonga and Samoa.

The hula-est, tiki-est, vintage Hawaiiana. Perhaps too divine too wear – would make a wonderful wall display either hung fully open or as shown. View more pictures and purchase this rare vintage hula skirt and kapa from the 1930s.

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