Traditional Tapa Textiles of the Pacific by Roger Neich
The manufacture of tapa cloth, made from the inner bark of certain trees, is one of the most distinctive products of the cultures of the Pacific islands. In several parts of Melanesia from New Guinea to Vanuatu in Fiji and on most of the high islands of Polynesia from Hawaii to Tahiti, the Marquesas, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, the Cook Islands and New Zealand, the manufacture of barkcloth is an ancient craft which has been practised for thousands of years. This volume presents a range of examples of the ancient art of tapa, from cloth brought back from the first European voyages to the Pacific to contemporary examples. The origins, patterns, materials and manufacturing techniques are described, as well as tapa's cultural context and uses in weddings, funerals, clothing, dance and ornament.