Complete Tapa or Masi Kesa

A complete section of masi kesa, possibly from a malo, a girdle or loin cloth (masi kesa means painted tapa in Fijian). The geometric decor of alternating black and white sections is quite dramatic and overall the decoration is painted with great finesse. The outer border is painted red and the long sides are fringed and painted with black stripes. Fiji Islands, Polynesia. Inner bark or bast of the Paper-mulberry tree (broussonetia papyrifera) with red and black pigments (old kraft paper repaires to rear). 328 cm. 19th century.

Provenance: Collected in the Lau Group of islands in Fiji on the La Koriganne expedition 1934 – 1936. Ex coll. : Charles van den Boek d’Obrennan, Paris.