Wende Stitt: passion for Hawaiian kapa cloth making

KQED – Public Media for Northern California just published a great online article with an accompanying YouTube video of great friend Wende Stitt of Santa Cruz and her passion for Hawaiian Kapa cloth making.

George’s music was used for the video and he makes a cameo appearance modeling the kihei that Wende made for him. BTW, a kihei is a traditional cloak-like garment most often tied at the shoulder and George plans to use his when he officiates weddings.


Santa Cruz Quilter Helps Piece Together the Lost Art of Hawaiian Kapa
By Cynthia Stone | Apr 10, 2014


Wendeanne Ke`aka Stitt is an unusual name for a nice Hungarian-Irish girl. In Hawaiian, it means “the mischievous laugh,” a name given to Stitt by her Hawaiian language teacher, Kau`i Peralto, at Stanford University. Anyone who spends time with Stitt soon knows how well the name suits her.  Though not Hawaiian by blood, Stitt is Hawaiian at heart she says.

Stitt has embarked on an artistic and cultural journey into the world of traditional Hawaiian kapa cloth making, a cultural tradition that was once lost and is still little understood. Today Stitt’s work in kapa is on exhibit in museums and galleries around and world. And her pieces are worn in important protocol ceremonies and performances in Hawaii, like the Merrie Monarch Festival

Stitt is honored to be part of a culture she so admires. “The Hawaiians were artists,” she says. “Their tools were beautiful, you know their cloth was beautiful, their tattoos, their music is beautiful.” And their way of thinking and being is as well. “You have to stay within a Hawaiian mindset when you pound kapa,” she maintains. “Which is one of humility — of being humble and of being grateful for what you’re doing. Only then,” she says, “can you pound beautiful kapa.”

Last October, the SFGate published an article on Wende Stitt if you want to read more about her…
SFGate: Santa Cruz quilter imbues aloha into kapa cloth
by Beth Hughes | Oct 5, 2013