Barkcloth (Siapo)

43.24 DP Temp 2533

About this object

Barkcloth, commonly known as 'tapa' in Oceania, is made from the inner bark of trees such as the paper mulberry and breadfruit tree. It is usually made by women. In the past people used barkcloth for practical purposes such as clothing and bed sheets as well as ceremonial wrapping of sacred objects and people. It is, and in some places, remains, an extremely important exchange item.

This sheet of barkcloth bears a geometric design in orange/ brown and dark brown, based on rectangles, diagonals and spots, handpainted over a rubbed design in the same colours. A section at one end has been left plain with rough dark brown and red/brown diagonal lines.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: Samoa [Western Samoa]
  • Date made
    20th Century early
  • Materials
    Pigment; Textile Barkcloth
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, 1943
  • Collector
  • Place collected
    Not recorded
  • Date collected
    1943 before
  • Measurements
    1470 mm x 1460 mm x 2 mm; 57 7/8 in x 57 1/2 in x 1/16 in
  • Related people


Previous owners

  • New Walk Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1943-07-16
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
Page load time: 125 ms