Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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tapa (bark cloth)
  • Samoan peoples
  • tapa (bark cloth), late 1800s–1915
  • Where object was made: American Samoa or Samoa?
  • bark, paint, pigment
  • Object Length/Width: 179 x 149 cm
    Object Length/Width: 70 1/2 x 58 5/8 in
  • Gift of Mary Anderson
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4049
Multimedia
Description

The piece of cloth is made from pounded and flattened bark and painted on one side. The overall design is made of numerous rows of repeating patterns. Most of the field is painted with a light reddish brown color and the additional designs are painted in darker reddish brown and dark brown. The first row has "bowtie" shapes alternating with rectangular shapes with small triangles and rectangles inside. The second row is a thin row of repeating short lines of triangles. The third row has chevron shapes alternating with four-petaled flower shapes. The fourth row has triangles filled with dark lines, alternating with "spade" shapes. The fifth row has four-petal flower shapes alternating with squares filled with curved lines and triangles also filled with curved lines. The sixth row has triangles filled with curved lines alternating with solid bars of color and circle shapes with inverted triangular projections. All six rows repeat one more time for a total of twelve rows