Kapa Education With Pūkoʻa Studios

 

One of Pūkoʻa's primary goals is to help young Hawaiians to learn about their culture. Through our education program Page Chang, owner and artist, brings lessons in Kapa making to public and private schools across Oʻahu, giving priority to those serving a large population of Hawaiian students. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have had to pivot to online learning, which while challenging has been a success. We are currently working with two Waimānalo schools through distance learning and hope to bring the program to more haumana across the island as we all safely reopen. 

The Program

Our Ka Papa Kapa program takes students through the full process of Kapa making. From an education in native plants to students making Kapa using tools that they made themselves, each step in the program is hands-on. Since we've had to pivot to online learning this has become much more difficult. To keep students connected, I've created an online, hands-on Kapa program that allows them to experience as much of the class as possible.

“Ka Papa Kapa Choice Board”is an interactive slideshow, or choice board, using an array of resources (videos, links, images, etc.), as well as incorporating learning platforms like google classrooms and Kahoot!. It engages students and helps them build strong learning habits, practice cultural protocols, participate in activities (like all the steps necessary to process wauke into kapa using traditional Kapa tools), to learn and interpret the mo‘olelo surrounding the practice of Kapa, and to take part in assessments for each activity so that we can monitor their learning with data collection.

 

Kapa Implements for all Participating Students

Moving to an all on-line format was a challenge, and in order for the students to
utilize the Choice Board completely and have hands-on experiences, they needed tools and supplies at home including Kapa 
making implements that are usually shared at school. We collected unfinished, damaged, and abandoned tools from the 3 Waimānalo Kapa Schools, re-carving and rehabilitating them for our new students.

 

Continued Growth and Access

As I create our teaching materials, I share them with previous teaching partners that continue the practice in and outside of Waimānalo, and that already have tools and gardens in place. As weʻre able to create more Kapa Kits for more students, Iʻll be able to share the program with more schools as well as individuals or groups interested in learning Kapa making at home.