What is ngatu fabric made from in Tonga?

What is ngatu fabric made from in Tonga?

Ngatu is the Tongan name given to tapa cloth or decorated bark cloth. It is made from the inner bark of Hiapo (paper mulberry tree). The pieces of bark are beaten with a mallet, widened and joined together to make larger pieces of cloth.

What is Tongan ngatu?

The beautiful Kingdom of Tonga proudly presents the ngatu. Ngatu is a traditional cloth made from the bark of the mulberry tree. It has been the treasure of our ancestors and today it is still one of our prestige, traditional and cultural wealth. Ngatu is used in gift-giving and other traditional rituals.

How is Tongan ngatu made?

Ngatu is made from the bark of hiapo (paper mulberry tree). Only men may tend hiapo while it is growing but, once it has been harvested, only women may turn the hiapo bark into ngatu. The process of making ngatu begins with stripping the bark from the tree and then separating the inner and outer bark.

What is tapa cloth worth?

It is highly ornamented with polychrome designs rich in imagery. Though there are fewer collectors for Amazonian works, Mr. Steele’s tapa prices range from $3,500 to $20,000.

What does tapa cloth represent?

Tapa was ceremonially displayed on special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. In sacred contexts, tapa was used to wrap images of deities. Even today, at times of death, bark cloth may be integral part of funeral and burial rites. In Polynesia, textiles are considered women’s wealth.

How do you preserve tapa cloth?

Storage. Ideally barkcloth should be stored flat. Keep small pieces in an acid-free or archival box – avoid ordinary cardboard boxes or wooden drawers as they contain acids which can damage vulnerable materials. Wrap or interleave the pieces of barkcloth with acid-free tissue paper or washed white cotton cloth.

What is Tongan tapa made of?

Bark cloth, or tapa, is not a woven material, but made from bark that has been softened through a process of soaking and beating. The inner bark is taken from several types of trees or shrubs, often mulberry and fig, and designs are applied with paints and vegetable dyes of light brown, red, and black.

How much does a tapa cost?

A plate of tapas typically cost about $3. To save money, avoid seafood, which can cost up to $14. Most bars push larger portions called raciones (dinner plate-sized) rather than smaller tapas (saucer-sized).

What is a Tongan tapa?

It is a traditional art form whereby the inner bark of certain trees is softened and pounded into sheets of cloth, then bound together using natural starches such as root crop. Tapa cloth is used in both functional and ceremonial purposes.

How do you soften tapa cloth?

Barkcloth in the Pacific It is stacked in piles for future use or safe-keeping, and in some areas it is rubbed with coconut oil to keep it supple while not in use. Laying tapa out in the morning dew is a regular practice, the sun drying and softening it throughout the day.

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