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human history
  • Other Name

    Bark cloth (English)

  • Description

    Gatu. Bark cloth. Gatu were most commonly made by men in Uvea mo Futuna. It is made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree which has been stripped, beaten and patched together to create a plain textile. This is then dyed and rubbed with togo (mangrove) or kele'uli (clay) and then painted with a black dye made from tuitui (candlenut) soot.

    This gatu is rectangular in shape, it has bordered edges, and inside the border there are six squares with different motifs and geometric designs.

  • Place
  • Accession Number
  • Accession Date
    21 Jul 1987
  • Other Id

    52496 (ethnology)

  • Department

Images and documents



  • Credit Line
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 1987.174, 52496
  • Public Access Text

    'On the basis of comparison with documented examples, this old cloth, with fine freehand painted black patterns is considered to be from Uvea. Although Uvea is of volcanic origin, it is in fact rather low and flat and does not attract a high rainfall. On the east coast, where rainfall is highest, there is tropical vegetation and the paper mulberry is cultivated for tapa-making.' Neich and Pendergrast, Pacific Tapa, 1997.

  • Cultural Origin
  • Primary Maker

     Unknown (Maker)

  • Place
  • Date
    Pre 1987
  • Technique
  • Signature/marks

    52496 (handwritten)

  • Media
  • Measurement Reading




  • Subject Category
  • Classification
  • Last Update
    11 Oct 2023

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