Tapa cloth, handmade mulberry paper, South Pacific Islands, Tongan/Samoan, mid to late 20th century, 68" x 60". Tree bark tapa cloths are made in the South Pacific Islands area, primarily from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, but also from Java, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Tapa are made from the inner bark of trees, soak softened, beaten, layered with adhesive and painted with vegetable dyes, usually red, browns and black. This specimen features traditional design motifs incorporating letters, numbers, bold geometric patterns and detailed stylized floral, bird and other symbolic features. Bark cloth is handcrafted for daily purposes such as floor mats and wall coverings, clothing and ceremonial uses in weddings and funerals.