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Tapa

About

The word tapa is from Tahiti and the Cook Islands, where Captain Cook was the first European to collect it and introduce it to the rest of the world. In Samoa, this cloth is sometimes called siapo. The tree most commonly used to produce bark cloth is the paper mulberry tree (Broussonetia papyrifera). The word "tapa" means of border or strip. Narrow strips of the bark are peeled off the trunk, then layered and finally beaten to flatten and bind the fibers together. It seems likely that before the glueing process became common to make large sheets only narrow strips were produced. Tapa can be decorated by rubbing, stamping, stencilling, smoking or dyeing. The patterns of Samoan tapa usually form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants, for example four stylised leaves forming a diagonal cross. Traditional dyes are usually black and rust-brown, although other colours are known.

Details

  • In the Style Of
  • Place of Origin
    Samoa
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1875
  • Dimensions
    H 69.5 in. x W 74 in. x D 3 in.H 176.53 cm x W 187.96 cm x D 7.62 cm
  • Seller Location
    Santa Fe, NM
  • Seller Reference Number
    PW2430
  • Reference Number
    LU97394322343
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1stdibs seller since 2013
Located in Santa Fe, NM
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