prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM0001295105179Barkcloth, ngatu uli, from Tonga; part of the Forster collection (Forster 49; 1886.1.1239)

Piece of barkcloth, made from the paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), with brown borders and a darker centre panel. The barkcloth has been cut, removing one of the shorter ends. The border is approximately 200 mm wide. The central panel is separated from the borders by black lines, approximately 15 mm wide. Lines running parallel to the long sides then cover the central panel, approximately 170-200 mm apart. These lines have been obscured by subsequent application of resin/dye to the surface of the barkcloth. The central panel has a textured appearance, as if the dye or pigment has been rubbed on with the cloth resting on a mat. There is a pattern of red dots over the surface of the barkcloth. The border is also textured, having a pattern of parallel lines. The layers of tapa (in most places at the edge three distinct layers can be seen) have been pasted together, so there are no beater marks visible on the surface


PRM0001300235179Detail of surface
PRM0001337075179Electron microscope image of barkcloth fibres
PRM0001300205179Forster and Ashmolean labels