“Tapa” (masi) cloth - 2007.94.1_1


“Tapa” (masi) cloth

Medium:Stenciled bark cloth
Geography: Fiji
Date: c. 1953
426 x 53 cm
Object number: 2007.94.1
Credit Line: Gift of Diane and Michael Chapelle
Not on view
DescriptionBoldly patterned bark cloth (tapa) is made throughout the Pacific islands, but only Fiji employs stencils to create design. The cloth, used for dress and hangings, is fabricated by women from the paper mulberry tree. They cut stencils from banana leaf or, today, x-ray film, and apply brown and black pigments made respectively from bark juice and soot. Numerous small stencils are used first for the border, followed by others for the central motif.
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