ITEM 11969

Tapa Cloth, Siapo tasina

Circa 1900, with early collection label
Paper mulberry bark, natural dyes
69 x 77 in / 175 x 196 cm

Siapo makers use the bark of the u’a (paper mulberry tree) to make their cloth. The bark is carefully peeled off the tree in strips and then the inner bark is separated and scraped clean. It is then pounded until it widens into a larger size. The pieces of cloth go through a process where they are pasted together to make a larger cloth then decorated.

This is an extraordinary example of its kind. Great art and scale, with open spaces, random dots, strong color and in great condition.