ngatu (Tapa Cloth)

About this object

Specific techniques

The pattern is made by rubbing over a kupesi (pattern block).

Physical description

Large rectangular tapa cloth. The base colour of the cloth is stained a medium brown, with unpainted strips of light brown on either end. The cloth is painted with a dark brown, possibly oil based, pigment in squares with repeating patterns of birds, animals, outdoors scenes with a house, tree, sun, moon and star, a Tongan shield motif, and a central panel with triangles, lines, and lettering. At each end is a light brown strip with a bird and number in each square; 18 to 21 at one end, 19 to 22 at the other end.