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Object: Anga (tapa cloth)

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Title Anga (tapa cloth)
Production Mangaia Historical and Cultural Society (maker/artist), October 2008, Cook Islands
Medium summary aoa or aerial roots of the banyan
Materials plant fibre, dye
Classification textiles
Dimensions Approximate: 2530mm (Width) x 5720mm (Length)
Credit line Purchased 2009
Registration number FE012489

This large and stunning anga (decorated tapa) is a significant addition to our very small collection of 19th and early 20th-century tapa from the Cook Islands.Made in 2008, it marks a renewed contemporary interest in tapa manufacture on the island of Mangaia.


Mangaia has a long history of producing tapa cloth and decorated tiputa (ponchos). However, the art form almost completely died out in the early 20th century.This anga is the product of a revival project in the village of Oneroa. The project was undertaken by the Mangaia Historical and Cultural Society sponsored by the University of the South Pacific Cook Islands campus. The anga is more than 5.5metres long and 2.5metres wide. It is made from the aoa, or aerial roots, of the Banyan tree. The decorations on the anga reference the motifs of late 19th and early 20th century barkcloth, carving and tattooing. However, the present generation of artists have added some innovations in composition and colour.


This anga was purchased by Te Papa in 2009.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.