Kapa Stamp

Collection Type

  • Cultural artifacts




Kapa stamp from Hawaii, or ohe kapala. Thin bamboo strip with incised pattern of three double bands placed on the diagonal, each band incised with five square shapes. Carved into the end of one side. Stamp would be dipped in paint/dye and pressed onto kapa cloth to create a repeated decorative pattern. Old paint/dye residue clearly visible in grooves of stamp. Kapa (the Hawaiian word for tapa), is barkcloth made from the inner bark of certain trees (usually paper mulberry) and widely used throughout the Pacific Islands as clothing and sleeping covers, as well as for secular, sacred and ceremonial uses.


Descriptive Terms

stamping (marking)
tapa (bark cloth)
bamboo (material)
Stamp, Marking

Associated Building

Original To Stephen Phillips House (Salem, Mass.),



Location of Origin

Pacific Island Group

Object Type

Written Communication T&E


1/4 x 1/8 (WxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation

Accession Number


Reference Notes

full digital copy on Google Play