Popondetta tapa

Tapa barkcloth. Beaten mulberry bark. Popondetta area. Oro province. PNG. Very good condition apart from few small holes. Circa 1960. Cm. 69 x 133 (2'3" x 4'4"). The tapa from this area was painted by women and prepared using the bark of the Broussonetia, cultivated near the dwellings. Depending on size, the pieces were used as men’ s or women’ s clothing, shawls or blankets. They constituted an important part of the gifts exchanged during marriages. The abstract and geometric patterns were drawn in black, then ornamented with red after the former had dried. The names of the patterns were often associated with plants, animals, or family or clan totems. During the mourning period following a husband’ s death, the widow clould only leave her house by crawling, hidden under tapa covers and guided by another woman.The clan design of this piece are really wonderful.

  • Questions?
  • Comments are closed.