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Barkcloth 'ahu

Barkcloth 'ahu

Place: Tahiti & Society Islands
Category: Barkcloth

Tahiti and the Society Islands, l. 143 cm, w. 208 cm, Inv. Oz 613

Humphrey No. 5: ‘A piece of thick white Bark Cloth, of which the Natives of the Society Isles made their upper Garments.’

The multi-layered soft cloth is undyed, but shows traces of a red border. One corner (7.5 x 12 cm) has been cut away. In view of its size, its multi-layered nature and its undyed state, this piece of barkcloth may be identified according to Humphrey’s annotation (see above) as the cloak-like cape worn by the Tahitian Omai (as engraved by Benjamin West). Gundolf Krüger

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Barkcloth ‘ahu, Inv. Oz 614