Agnes Terao-Guiala, a retired Maui high school teacher, a short while ago posted a new edition of her e book “Hawaiian Women’s Fashions: Kapa, Cotton and Silk.” Almost two a long time in the building, the book, now a 2021 Pele Award winner, is a remarkable chronicle of the fabrics and variations of Hawaii, interwoven with stories of the islands and its people, from early Hawaiians to historic royalty to modern designers.
Many chapters protect info in numerous main sections: The Beginning, Western Make contact with, A New Dynasty, A New Hawaii, and Hawaii’s Vogue Sector. The result of Terao-Guiala’s exploring and crafting is a genuinely intriguing account.
The guide enriches our understanding of Hawaii in the period prior to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, as nicely as in the 20th and 21st generations. The very last chapters, talking about Hawaii’s modern designers, show the classic Hawaiian types within just the neighborhood and international trend marketplace.
Ketra Kennedy Arcas, Kamehameha Schools Maui librarian, explained in a evaluate, “Hawaiian Women’s Fashions: Kapa, Cotton and Silk gives a one of a kind point of view about the historical past of manner in the islands. This reserve is a fascinating contribution to our area history and a ‘must have’ for all Hawaiian ebook collections.”
Terao-Guiala arrives from a lengthy-recognized Lahaina and Paukukalo family members. As a younger girl increasing up on Maui, she realized to dance hula and was impressed by Hawaiian lifestyle and traditions, primarily when she obtained her Hawaiian identify “Mililani” from her hula instructor, Aunty Emma Sharpe. Later, even even though training substantial university, Terao-Guiala continued to get courses about Hawaiian royalty, materials, indigenous vegetation, language, background and culture to study as significantly as she could about “all factors Hawaiian.”
She beloved the dazzling hues of the Hawaiian holoku (a woman’s very long one-piece gown, ordinarily with some fitting and a educate) and marveled at how the royal ladies of the Hawaiian ali’i went to fantastic lengths to keep up with the fashions of the moments. The holoku also grew to become the approved manner of gown for the standard populace of Hawaiian gals.
“Inspired by my like for the wonderful, extravagant holoku, I began to research the origin and evolution of all Hawaiian apparel,” Terao-Guiala mentioned. “I bought and collected more than 200 Hawaiian garments, mainly the mu’umu’u (a unfastened-fitting, flowy costume) that was released to Hawaii in the mid-1800s. To show the shifting time durations, I applied black and white historical visuals from the Hawaii State Archives and the Bishop Museum, as effectively as pics from the collection of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Hawaii. In addition, I amassed a massive assortment of publications and artifacts about Hawaii.”
This fantastically crafted and illustrated ebook is as significantly about heritage as style. The subtitle, Kapa, Cotton and Silk, refers to the dominant fibers for fabric utilised in Hawaiian garments. With just about every chapter, Terao-Guiala presents a lengthy dialogue of Hawaiian history and critical personages adopted by information and facts on clothes and textiles from that period.
Commencing with the opening chapter, “Kapa: The Initially Hawaiians,” she tells of the initially voyagers from the Marquesas Islands arriving in the Hawaiian Islands as early as 300 A.D. Even though the guys have been hunting, farming, fishing or planning food items, the females ended up caring for the little ones, harvesting limu (seaweed) and shellfish from the ocean, or pounding the inner fibers of the wauke plant into kapa or bark cloth for clothes and bedding. The move-by-phase depth of how this technique, as very well as that of feather perform, lei-producing and tattooing, was attained is both of those intriguing and educational. Historic and artistic documents exposed the most apparent exterior modify that experienced taken location in Hawaii with the arrival of overseas site visitors and missionaries. This change integrated the adoption of Western clothes by the Hawaiians, a reflection of the shifting tradition and social framework in the islands.
Terao-Guiala stated, “The initial apparent alter in Hawaiian women’s fashions commenced with the arrival of the Initial Organization of missionaries from New England in 1820, when the missionary wives designed and sewed the holoku. The first travellers who came to the islands experienced a lot less than complimentary names for this missionary-inspired garment, calling it a sack, New England nightgown or a Mom Hubbard gown.
“Fashion is not a whim it is record. It displays the society and cultural alterations of the time. Vogue reveals a wonderful offer about the attitudes of and towards females and their part in modern society. I desired to demonstrate how the background of Hawaii interweaves with women’s fashions via the generations and how it performed a substantial role, not only in each day lifetime, but also in large society, faith and the political scene. I bundled the heritage and numerous memorable tales of Hawaiian ali’i, which includes the heart-rending story of Queen Lili’uokalani and the Royal Princess of Hawaii, Princess Victoria Ka’iulani Cleghorn.”
For illustration, the variations worn by Queen Lili’uokalani and Princess Ka’iulani had been consultant of not only the era, but of the temper of the events taking place. At the time imprisoned, Queen Lili’uokalani mostly wore black, as the loneliness and pressure of getting imprisoned had a harmful outcome on her.
“There was also outfits becoming worn by many of the Hawaiian Royalist gals in protest of the annexation,” Terao-Guiala pointed out. “They procured navy blue and white striped fabric that resembled the product of the prison suits worn by incarcerated Royalists. Employing this material, the girls made blue and white striped holoku with matching hats. These women wore their new prison-themed apparel in community for a number of times, walking all over the streets of Honolulu to exhibit their help for their husbands, brothers, friends or sweethearts who have been imprisoned. Additionally, the gentlemen began to use hatbands with ‘Aloha ‘aina’ (Like of State) printed on them in the form of general public protest.”
The persistence of the holoku and mu’umu’u into the current time mirrors the enduring respect and nostalgia felt in Hawaii for Hawaiian regular arts and the monarchy. Presently, the holoku and holomu’u (a blend of the holoku and mu’umu’u) are worn by members of hula halau who dance hula ‘auana (present day, free of charge-flowing hula fashion) or modern day hula segments at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival and other hula reveals, competitions, and festivals.
Presently, aloha put on has turn into suitable small business apparel, resulting in an enhance in the product sales of Hawaii’s fashions, which added benefits the island’s garment market. Regional designers develop their very own fabric prints inspired by Hawaiian indigenous plants, ornamental kapa patterns and standard Hawaiian artifacts. Their uniquely printed fabrics and garments models have enabled Hawaiian fashions to be acknowledged all in excess of the environment, most recently at New York Manner Week.
The donning of conventional Hawaiian models is even now, to some extent, a social and political assertion for the duration of this complicated time of cultural variety, and the holoku fashion continues to influence the fashions of Hawaii in the 21st century as effectively. The Hawaiian holoku of currently continues to be a timelessly graceful and attractive garment in all of its versions.
Terao-Guiala summed up her exertion: “Fashions make a statement. It tells who we are. My e-book has authorized me to share my investigation and perspectives as properly as my really like for style and the holoku. I relished exploring and producing the info about the evolution of this garment. The anecdotes about the life and outfits of the royal women of all ages demonstrate how they became the trend leaders of the Hawaiian Kingdom and contributed to the wealthy historical past of Hawaii. This reserve has develop into the holoku of my childhood desires.
“Today, many of Hawaii’s present-day fashion designers discover their inspiration in traditional kapa pattern styles, bringing the traditions of the earlier into the present. Hawaiian women’s manner has altered and progressed as a result of the several years from kapa to cotton and silk, and back again to kapa. Returning total circle, it carries forward the traditions, magnificence and spirituality of Hawaiian artistry and style into the 21st century and on to the globe phase. All through the many many years of producing this e book, I obtained so substantially assistance and encouragement from relatives, close friends and former students. I am extremely grateful for all the help. Mahalo nui loa.”
Now, “Hawaiian Women’s Fashions: Kapa, Cotton and Silk” is offered at Maui Historic Society, Bailey Property Museum, Native Intelligence, The Sugar Museum, Upcountry Farmers’ Industry: Aunty Pi’ilani, and Maui Matcha in Whalers Village.