Mar 8, 2021
Mar 8, 2021
Mar 8, 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Tapa Cloth Beater (l'e kuku)

Tapa Cloth Beater (l'e kuku)

before 1930

Wood

Overall: 38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Munro 1971.152

Location

Description

To make tapa, a decorated bark cloth, Hawaiian women used the four-sided beater to pound the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree, softened by a week of soaking in sea water. The cloth was beaten in several stages, starting with the most coarsely grooved side of the mallet and gradually reaching the finest grooved side. Although many Polynesian groups produced tapa cloth, only Hawaiian tapa cloth beaters were incised with a variety of "watermark" patterns. The prepared cloth was decorated with overlaying, cord snapping, free-hand painting, and printing techniques.

See also
Collection: 
Oceanic Art
Department: 
Oceania
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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