The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 4, 2024

Tapa Cloth Beater (l'e kuku)

Tapa Cloth Beater (l'e kuku)

before 1930
Location: not on view


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.
  • Year in Review: 1971. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (December 28, 1971-February 6, 1972).
  • {{cite web|title=Tapa Cloth Beater (l'e kuku)|url=false|author=|year=before 1930|access-date=04 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: