prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM0001322995179Barkcloth, ngatu ′uli, from Tonga; part of the Forster collection (Forster 50; 1886.1.1126)

Two-layered white bark cloth that has been printed on one side using reddish brown and black pigments. The decoration covers the entire surface of the cloth and makes the cloth semi-waterproof. Some of the pigment has come through the layers of the cloth and appears on the reverse. There are no beater marks visible on the front of the cloth with decoration, nor on the reverse. The cloth has been decorated using two different patterns. The lower section of the piece has diagonal black lines drawn across the reddish brown painted surface. The upper section of the cloth has been decorated using the traditional Tongan motif of triangles meeting at the points, (manulua) representative of two birds in flight and a symbol of high rank parentage on both sides. The triangles within this motif are decorated differently. The decoration alternates both in colour and design. Lighter colour triangles have a vertical line motif while the darker triangles are decorated with horizontal lines. A heavy black line that helps to give form to the the overall design divides each of these triangles


PRM0001311855179Forster and Ashmolean labels
PRM0001311865179Unknown label