Tapa poncho belonging to a chief's daughter, Nuie, pre-1869. Photo by Hillel Burger. PM 69-21-70/1942.
Tapa Cloths from the Pacific Islands
March 6, 2002–August 1, 2003
The exhibit celebrates the Museum's extensive barkcloth or tapa collections and highlights efforts to preserve these valuable cultural artifacts. The exhibit features some of the earliest known tapa from the Pacific Islands, as well as recent gifts of constructed tapa items from Tonga and the Cook Islands. Included in the display is a rare tunic from Niue, an eighteen-foot-long tapa cloth curtain from Fiji, a Hawaiian beadspread, a finely produced headdress from French Polynesia, tapa beaters, and tools used in the decoration of the cloth. The exhibit examines regional variations in the technology, design, and use of tapa and the conservation challenges.
Curated by T. Rose Holdcraft.