American Samoa (not certain), Samoa (not certain) / United States (not certain), Polynesia
1838 to 1842
LARGE PIECE OF PAINTED BARK CLOTH. THE CENTRAL SECTION IS A LIGHT YELLOWISH-BROWN WHICH IS BORDERED ON TWO SIDES BY BROAD BANDS OF A REDDISH-BROWN COLOR. THE CLOTH IS HEAVILY LINED FROM A BOARD, AND THE REVERSE SHOWS VERY DEEPLY INDENTED PARALLEL LINES ACROSS THE ENTIRE PIECE. THERE IS A VERY LARGE SECTION REMOVED, 52 X 45 CM., WHICH HAS BEEN LOCATED IN THE NMAH DIVISION OF TEXTILES STORAGE, MSC, # 185112. HAS ORIGINAL PEALE TAG; ALSO OLD LABEL "B[ARRE]L NO 1, TAPA FROM SAMOA, NOVr 1839 RECD JUNE 18, 1840 VIA BOSTON [SHIP]".
Rectangular tapa, made up of two adhered layers; tapa is fairly thick. Rectangular piece (approx. 54 cm x 56 cm) has been removed from one corner. Front is heavily coated with a reddish brown pigment creating a simple design. On left and right sides, running in the short direction, are wide borders (approx. 35 cm) made with a darker shade of the same reddish brown colorant. There are thin parallel lines, spaced about 5 mm apart, running in the short direction, parallel to the darker borders just mentioned. The lines in the center lighter shaded portion are darker than the surrounding area. The lines continue across the darker side borders but are lighter in color creating an appearance of negative space. The reverse side exhibits extensive bleed through of the facing pigment, including the parallel lines.