F7. Paper Mulberry

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The paper mulberry is a member of the Fig family.  It is a small tree or shrub which can grow as tall as fifty feet tall.  It has heart-shaped leaves that are four to six inches long.  It has flowers with round heads and it also has a round orange fruit.  


The ancient Hawaiians made the finest kapa from the bast fiber of the wauke plant.  It was soaked in running water, it's outer bark scraped away and beaten into kapa.  This work was all done by women.  The wauke kapa was made into clothing for men and women and also made into bed sheets.  The raw bark could also be used to make cord for fishnets and handles for carrying things.  Its sap was also used to make a laxative.  The ash from burned kapa was used to treat thrush, a disease of the mouth.