FINE VINTAGE NGATU TAPA BARK CLOTH VERY OLD TONGA SAMOA

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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Aug 19,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction
Dear Mothers' World Famous NO PANTS Auction! TAPA!
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VITAL STATISTICS
FINE VINTAGE NGATU TAPA BARK CLOTH VERY OLD TONGA SAMOA
C.; 1940-50's?, Approx.; 67" x 49" . FINE/GOOD Condition,
One corner torn; mostly all t if restored, some damage elsew is minimal age appropriate wear for a delicate piece, needs to be mounted, see pictures. $16 Shipping Continental. We combine.
Excellent Patterned Tapa Bark Cloth Ngatu with intricately detailed graphics! Rare Vintage Ephemera in FINE Condition!
The closer you look, the better it gets! Striking Primitive Pattern evokes the islands and Polynesia!
Fragile and delicate, easily restored with only a few small holes and the corner tear, for a 70+ textile it is exceptional condition!
Incredible close detailing only found in older pieces, the right size for a superb display, a deserving quality tapa packed away for decades!
I roll tapa to relax the fold lines, which aren't too bad on this one; I hope the winner will mount this museum quality piece to ensure its' legacy!
The last two pictures are the back, you can more easily assess the condition of this fine tapa!
And at .99 Cents, you know this magic carpet is going to fly! Our most ironic NO PANTS Auction ever! AloooooHA!
Tapa cloth (or simply tapa ) is a bark cloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga and Samoa, but as far afield as Java, New Zealand, Papau New Guinea and Hawaii.

In French Polynesia it has completely disappeared, except for some villages in the Marquesas.

The cloth is known by a number of local names, although the term tapa is international and understood throughout the islands that use the cloth.

The word tapa is from Tahiti, w Captain Cook was the first European to pick it up and to introduce it to rest of the world.

In Tonga, tapa is known as ngatu , and it is of great social importance to the islanders, often being given as gifts.

In Samoa, the same cloth is called siapo . In Hawai ʻ i, it is known as kapa . And in Fiki it is called masi .

All these different words give some clue to the origin.

Masi could mean the (bark of the) Dye-fig, endemic to Oceania, and probably the one originally used to make tapa.

Somew in history, during the voyages of migration the hiapo or siapo was introduced from Southeast Asia, the Paper Mulberry tree.

The bark of this tree is much better to use, and put the use of the Dye-fig into oblivion.

Only its name remained in Fiji. Tapa finally, has the meaning of border or strip.

It seems likely that before the glueing process became common to make large sheets, only narrow strips were produced.

Tapa can be painted.

The patterns of Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian tapa usually form a grid of squares, each of which contains geometrical patterns with repeated motifs.

Fish, birds, sea creatures, or plants, for example four stylised leaves forming a diagonal cross.

Traditional dyes are usually black and rust-brown, although other colours are also known.

In former times the cloth was primarily used for clothing, but now cotton and other textiles have replaced it.

The major problem with tapa clothing is that the tissue is just like paper: it looses all its strength when wet and falls apart.

Still it was better than grass-skirts, which usually are either heavier and harder or easily blown apart, but on the low coral atolls w the mulberry does not grow, people had no choice.

Nowadays tapa is still often worn on formal occasions such as weddings. Another use is as blanket at night.

It is also highly prized for its decorative value and is often found used to hang on the walls as a decoration.

In Tonga a family is considered poor, no matter how much money they have, if they do not have any tapa in stock at home to donate at life crises like marriages, funerals and so forth.

If the tapa was ever donated to them by a chief or even the royal family, the more valuable it is.

As Tonga is the countr...

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