A fine old Tapa Beater Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
This fine old carved wood Tapa Beater is from Eastern Highlands of Province Papua New Guinea. This artefact was used to beat tree bark of the Paper Mulberry Tree into a thin bark cloth of 2-3mm thick. This Tapa Beater is from the 19th Century with an old glossy black patina.
Tapa Cloth was made & used throughout the Pacific Islands both by Melanesian People from Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu and also throughout Polynesia. When you look closely at this Tapa Beater you will see that it has three different designs elements carved into the pounding part, this was used to make indentations of these designs onto the Tapa Cloth.
Tapa was a highly valued material used for clothing but also for ceremonial objects and as a traditional wealth objects. People used Tapa Cloth to pay for bridal dowries.
This Tapa Beater comes on a custom made stand where it can be set on a table or shelf, the real joy of this tapa beater is holding it in your hand and looking at the beautiful designs,
The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Highlands Art & Artefacts
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