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‘Ohe Kāpala: Printing Tradition in the Hearts of Visitors

February 16, 2015

Earlier this week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Park Ranger and Hawaiian scholar Noah Gomes demonstrated the art of ‘ohe kāpala (traditional Hawaiian bamboo stamping) at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Using wood paint paddle sticks and foam stickers, visitors of all ages had the opportunity to bring out their artistic side and create their own ‘ohe kāpala design. As visitors stamped their works of art on to canvas bags to take home, Ranger Noah explained the significance and history of this Hawaiian tradition, and answered questions about his knowledge of the Hawaiian archipelago.

Visitors of all ages participate in the ‘ohe kāpala workshop.

Visitors of all ages participate in the ‘ohe kāpala workshop. (NPS photo/Christa Sadler).

This program is part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshop series, and it’s free, thanks to support from the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.

Ranger Noah chats with visitors about ‘ohe kāpala. (NPS photo/Christa Sadler).

Ranger Noah chats with visitors about ‘ohe kāpala. (NPS photo/Christa Sadler).

Workshop participant shows off her turtle ‘ohe kāpala design. (NPS photo/ Stephen Geiger).

Workshop participant shows off her turtle ‘ohe kāpala design. (NPS photo/ Stephen Geiger).

Ranger Noah is a graduate student in Hawaiian Language and Literature at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Language. Originally from Wahiawā, Oʻahu, he now resides in Hilo. Noah has been a lifelong student of Hawaiian natural history and is currently researching the ancient bird hunters of the Hawaiian archipelago. ‘Ohe kapala is a skill he learned from his university education and through personal interest.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park SCA intern displays her ‘ohe kāpala tote bag. (NPS photo/Stephen Geiger).

The author, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park SCA intern Christa, displays her ‘ohe kāpala tote bag. (NPS photo/Stephen Geiger).

The author is a Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps intern working with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the park’s centennial initiatives.

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