Small Tapa with Tanoa, To'oto'o & Fue
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Small Tapa with Tanoa, To'oto'o & Fue

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Samoan tapa, called siapo, differs from Fijian and Tongan tapa. The fabric is softer and the patterns are produced by an embossing process, whereby the raw tapa is beaten onto a carved wooden stencil. The embossed pattern is then painted with natural brown or black dyes. Traditionally, the siapo was an item of exchange and formal presentation at special occasions such as births, weddings, funerals and investiture of chiefly titles. Because tapa is made by hand and the materials are so close to their raw form, it is characteristic of the art that inconsistencies in pattern or material occur. Being passed along as a gift, tapa may also exhibit signs, such as creases, of its authenticity and important place in tradition and history.

This lovely piece is decorated with four Pacific flower blocks print design set off by a white frame.

Hand-made in Samoa.

Measurements: 37.5cm x 36cm / 14.5" x 14"