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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:27 pm
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Location: USA
Can anyone help identify? This tapa (bark cloth) was collected in the South Pacific during WWII. The family I bought it from had no other information. The size is approx. 60" x 72". Can anyone help identify or provide any references.

Thanks,
Richard


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 Post subject: Tapa
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
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Richard,

Get in touch with Galerie Meyer Oceanic Art in Paris. Anthony Meyer has a website and I think he will be able to give you an attribution quickly.


Best Regards,
Steven Frost


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 Post subject: oceanic tapa
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:20 am 
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Location: California, USA
Hi Richard,

I'm delighted to see your return. The reapperance of both you and Bill, has given me the push to get my annual "in the doldrums textile quiz" online.

As to the tapa: it is definetly somewhat older than WW2. Considering where it was purchased, we're looking at a Melanesian or New Guinea textile (I leave out the Maori...their textile designs tend to mirror the boldness of their tattoes).

It is probably from New Guinea, but of course I could be wrong. When we were in Hawaii, I was impressed by the tapa collection at the Bishop Museum. You might want to check their catalog if all else fails.

Welcome back!

Sandie 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:11 am 
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Location: Austria / Europe
Hi,

im not too good with Tapa textiles as i nearly never have them, but going through some books (including J.P. Meyers one) i would recall it from Samoa/Fidshi area.

For sure not Papuan as they are different in design.

cheers
udo

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:08 am 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Given the overpainting on a pattern that seems to have been made with rubbing tablets and indeed the pattern itself, I would suggest that this is Samoan. It is most definitely not Fijian, nor from Papua- New Guinea. It has a certain similarity to a Samoan piece from the collection of Robert Louis Stevenson which is published in Traditional Tapa Textiles of the Pacific (Neich and Pendergrast. NY 1998)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:16 am 
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After looking through another book (Malerei/Grafik aus Ozeanien - Catalogue from an exhibiton by the "staatl. Museum für Völkerkunde in Dresden / Germany) which was dedicated to paintings from Oceania in 1992 i would also put it to Samoa.

They have some 5 pieces in the catalogue which looks very closly like this - Fidji is different.

Some reference books they are mentioning:
- Tapa in Polynesia, S. Kooijman, Honolulu 1972
- Tapa techniques and patterns in Polynesia, S. kooijman, Primitive Art andSociety A. Forge, London/new York 1973
- Patterns of Paradise (bark cloth around the world), A. Leonhard + J. Terrel, Cat. Field Museum of Nat. History, Chicago 1980

cheers
udo

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:59 am 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Good to see more references for Tapa, thanks Udo. The Leonhard and Terrell book I was not aware of so will try to track a copy. The references to Kooijman's books I did know but the Tapa in Polynesia published in Honolulu would seem to be not much more than pamphlet size and is super expensive from the dealers that I have tracked so far. Kooijman has a more affordable publication -- Polynesian Barkcloth (Shire Publications, UK. 1988) Another slightly more esoteric (and possibly harder to find) book is Handicrafts of the South Seas by Angus McBean. (South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia (1964/ revised edition 1976) which is subtitled - an illustrated guide for buyers, compiled from contributions from territorial Governments and Administrations. It contains information that I have not seen elsewhere. Best wishes, Jim


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:32 am 
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Location: Austria / Europe
Ha!

thanks Jim - didnt know that I have that book from Shire Publications

Polynesian Barkcloth - Somon Kooijman - Shire Ethnography 1988
isbn 0 85263 943 0
but best is to get it directly - should be some 3-4 £

In this book there is also quite a big list with titles regarding this subject; if interested i can mail it to you or post it here.

tx
udo

ps. books are good on amazon or http://www.cmgbooksandart.com or basically to look for on http://www.eurobuch.com which is browsing many different sites - also very good to compare the prices !

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:21 am 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
Thanks Udo, I have the Polynesian Barkcloth book. The cmgbooksandart site is "heaven on a stick". What a fabulous catalogue of textile books- it will keep me poor for quite some time.
Hey Richard, having started all this, have you come any closer to an attribution for the Tapa? Did Gallery Meyer have any thoughts?Would love to know what other opinions are out there. Cheers Jim.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:27 pm
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Location: USA
Hello All,

Sorry for the late reply. My computer access has been limited for the last week or so. Udo, Jim and all thanks for all of the information and for the references. This tapa has been in my collection for a number of years and was recently uncovered while trying to get organized. This Forum has really helped me to clarify many questions I have on a number of textiles. I'm very pleased to be a part of such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic venue.

Best,
Richard


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
See a thread in the Books forum which, as well as linking to this thread, has started to try to assemble some references on tapa http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... .php?t=894 Please check out the list and add to it any others that you may be aware of so that we can create a useful resource.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Tapa Cloth
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:33 am 
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This is a fine example of a Samoan Siapo Elei or Tapa dyed by rubbing the white Tapa over wooden carved design tablet called Upeti. The dye is from the O'a Bischofia Javanica.

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