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Object: Ngatu (tapa cloth)

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Title Ngatu (tapa cloth)
Materials bark, dye
Classification textiles
Dimensions Overall: 2300mm (Length) x 2000mm (Width)
Credit line Purchased 2009
Registration number FE012487

Thisngatu (tapa cloth)was collected by Cecil Roy Clark, a private of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces who was stationed in Samoa during the First World War. In Tonga as in many other countries, historical events are recorded on tapa, and this rare tapa example depicts Halley's comet which appeared in 1910. According to researchers, Halley's comet reappears every 70 to 80 years, and the last recorded sighting took place in the 1980s. This Tongan ngatu is a unique example of the visual documentation of important events during the early twentieth century.

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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.