Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability

CAS Anthropology Collections Database

Catalog Number

CAS 1984-0008-0137   CAS 1984-0008-0137; Tapa cloth
Category Textiles
Object Name Tapa cloth
Culture Polynesian
Global Region Oceania
Country New Caledonia
State/Prov./Dist. Uvea
Other Geographic Data Island: Wallis
Maker's Name Unknown
Date of Manufacture ca. 1920s
Collection Name Rollo Beck Collection (South Pacific)
Materials Paper mulberry bark; Native and aniline dyes
Description Elongated, rectangular tapa cloth, possibly a lafi, a bandolier worn by men, made from strips of paper mulberry bark that have been beaten into thin sheets which are then overlapped to form a larger cloth; Design field is divided into series of horizontal bands at each end covering approximately 1/4 of the field, with the central area left open; End bands are decorated with various motifs, including stars, plants, and checkerboard designs, all painted in colors of dark blue, purple, and turquoise blue black; Similar motifs are repeated in central field, but more sparsely; Solid black border frames cloth on all four sides; Ends of cloth have been cut to form series of wide triangular fringes that are painted with black border designs.
Dimensions (cm) Width = 55.5, Length = 244.0