Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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tapa (bark cloth)
  • Samoan peoples
  • tapa (bark cloth), late 1800s–1968
  • Where object was made: Western Samoa (present-day Samoa)
  • bark, paint, pigment
  • Object Length/Width: 159 x 143 cm
    Object Length/Width: 62 5/8 x 56 1/4 in
  • Gift of James A. Sleeper
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4054
Multimedia
Description
Inscriptions/Signature

The piece of cloth is made from pounded and flattened bark of a very light tan color and painted with dark brown paint and with a lighter reddish brown pigment for the field. The overall pattern is made up of eight rectangles, two rows of four rectangles. Within each rectangle there are two design elements which resemble abstract floral designs. One is made up of four large tear-shaped "petals" with four smaller ones in between and a circle with a cross in it at the center. The other design has four large diamond shaped "petals" with four smaller diamonds in between and with a pointed octagon in the center with four small ovals inside. The overall field is covered with very light reddish brown lines in a rectangular pattern.