Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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tapa (bark cloth)
  • Oceania
  • tapa (bark cloth), before 1945
  • Where object was made: Solomon Islands
  • bark, paint, pigment
  • Object Height/Width: 162 x 143 cm
    Object Height/Width: 63 3/4 x 56 5/16 in
  • Gift of Barbara J. Dennis
  • Not on display
  • 2009.0015

Tapa cloth made from pounded bark and decorated with paint and pigment. The cloth itself is very light brown in color and has been decorated on one side only. The decoration is a series of repeating patterns. Each pattern is a square with the outline painted in a dark brown and within the square is a dark-brown semicircle made up of a ring of smaller half-circles, alternating "spokes" of light and dark brown triangles with the points toward the center, and a dark brown ring and chevron shape at the center. The repeating patterns are arranged so that the semicircles face each other and create the effect of a full circle. The field is decorated with a herring bone pattern in a lighter reddish-brown pigment.