The finest grade of white Society Islands ‘ahu barkcloth, usually produced from a mixture of paper mulberry and breadfruit bast, but occasionally (in the very highest quality fabric) paper mulberry alone. It was heavily retted and fermented before beating, beaten out extremely thin, and marked with a linear beater mark of 10-14 grooves per cm. It was hopū fabric which constituted the principal form of storable wealth in the Society Islands, and vast bolts of it were sewn up in coarser tapa covers before being stored suspended in the rafters of chiefly homes.
- Ellis, W. (1829, II). Polynesian researches: during a residence of nearly six years in the South Sea islands. 1st ed. 2 vols. London: Fisher & Jackson
- Brigham, W.T. (1911). Ka hana kapa, the making of bark-cloth in Hawaii. Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology & Natural History, Vol. III. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press
Entry created on 28 August 2020