VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Tapa "ngatu"
MAIP 18783
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Tapa is made from the beaten down fibre of the bark of a mulberry tree, and painted by hand. The decoration is composed of geometric patterns characteristic for Tonga. The craft of making a tapa is a very distinctive part of the Polynesian culture, but nowadays it is obsolete. In addition, the large dimensions of this object led us to include it among the masterpieces.

History of the Object
Acquired by Wojciech Paczuski on the Tonga Islands in the late 60s of 20th century when he worked on the cruise lines, sailing between the Pacific islands.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Bark of mulberry tree; vegetable dye 
Measurements
Width 460 cm Length 495 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Tonga 
Geography
Tonga 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th century; middle 
Function
This tapa (ngatu) is normally made on the occasion of major holidays or other public events. Tapa's may sometimes be 100 meters in length and several meters in width. After these ceremonies, it is cut into smaller parts and given away to the participants. 
Acquisition
Donated in 2006 by Barbara and Wojciech Paczuski. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw 
Museum
Asia and Pacific Museum 
Credit line
 

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