Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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tapa (bark cloth)
  • Fiji
  • tapa (bark cloth), late 1800s–1965
  • Where object was made: Suva, Fiji
  • bark, paint
  • Object Length/Width: 179 x 124 cm
    Object Length/Width: 70 1/2 x 48 13/16 in
  • Gift of Muriel H. Johnson
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4050
Multimedia
Description

The piece of cloth is made from pounded and flattened bark of a very light beige or off-white color and painted with reddish brown and black paint on one side. The outside border consists of groups of reddish brown lines alternating with blank space. The design is made up of rows of different patterns. The first row has a reddish brown field with a row of large white flower shapes. The second row is a black field with white lines alternating with shapes made up of a diamond with several projections coming off of both sides. The third row is a zigzag line of mottled brown with brown stripes filling in the triangular shapes of the space around the zigzag. The fourth row is a repeat of the black second row. The set of four rows repeats once more for a total of eight rows.