Tapa (beaten wood bark), red and black pigments, fibers
Dimensions: 54 x 46cm (without strap)
Presumed period: first half of 20th century
Eastern Highlands Province
Papua New Guinea
Jim Davidson. Melboune
By descent to his son Malcom Davidson. Melbourne
JOLIKA Collection of Marcia & John Friede. Rye, New York
Fine Art Museum of San Francisco. New Guinea Highlands. Art from the Jolika Collection
Reproduced page 241, Fig.11.8
The stitching around the edges of this tapa and the attachment of a strap suggest that it was used as a dance cape.
These capes, used by the Benabena, Usarufa, Jate, Fore and Kamano peoples, were made from the inner bark of certain plants, notably the paper mulberry Broussonetia papyfera, but also the breadfruit tree Artotocarpus altilis.
The fiber was then beaten with a wooden or stone mallet to refine the material.
Once the process was complete, the fabric was decorated with abstract, geometric patterns traced in black (a mixture of soot produced by burning tuitui almonds with water), embellished with ochre pigment (macerated koka bischoffia javanica bark).
These capes were used in ceremonies that may have had a central pig-related theme, but various garden products were given equal or greater importance, and the ceremonies often became harvest festivals in which fruit, vegetables and other commercial products were shared.
In the Goroka and Henganofi regions, these ceremonies were once marked by collective dancing and singing. Body decorations and a series of characteristic emblems were made and almost always worn by the men.
Get access to the latest exhibitions and galleries on OASIS
Please leave your message and details below so the Gallery may get in touch with you.
To get in touch and create your own virtual gallery, please contact us:
Or leave us a message:
OASIS is the first immersive platform for the art world.
Designed specifically for collectors and art lovers, this revolutionary digital platform offers a unique experience to discover, learn, and collect artworks by exploring 3D spaces of renowned galleries.
We strive to create a dialogue between collectors and galleries of various disciplines such as design, contemporary, modern, ancient, and tribal art.
OASIS is the quintessence of the best online technologies.
An immersive experience that represents the internet of tomorrow for today’s collector.
A new world opens up to you.
Experience Art like never before.
The OASIS Team