Indiana University Indiana University IU

Culture Samoan
Title Barkcloth (Siapo, Tapa)
Date 1930–1950
Medium Mulberry bark fiber and pigment
Dimensions Object: 33 1/2 × 61 1/2 in. (85.1 × 156.2 cm)
Overall: 33 1/2 × 61 1/2 in. (85.1 × 156.2 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mrs. Edward J. Kempf, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 73.83.3

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About this Work

Alternating patterns of crescents and triangles decorate this work. This barkcloth was created using the siapo tasina technique, that is by stretching undecorated tapa over a carved ‘upeti board and rubbing with pigment to create the design, later going over the design again with different pigments. In the second line of patterning, the ‘upeti board has been turned around to create visual interest. A heavy imprint has been left from the design board on the verso, and parts of the piece have soaked up large amounts of the o’a dye, giving the piece a three-dimensional quality.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Barkcloth | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.