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Barkcloth ngatu

Barkcloth ngatu

Place: Tonga
Category: Barkcloth

Tonga, l. 82 cm, w. 110 cm, Inv. Oz 577

Humphrey No. 34: ‘a piece of thin glazed Bark Cloth, the ground white, beautifully coloured with red and black, in a variety of singular Figures, from the Friendly Isles.’

The barkcloth is decorated with two alternating patterns, one consisting of squares. In an alternating fashion, these are filled either with two pairs of diagonal lines meeting in the middle, or with many vertical and horizontal black lines. The other pattern exhibits groups of vertical black lines on a white background, regularly interrupted by groups of three horizontal stripes (two black stripes enclosing one brown). One border of the barkcloth consists of two broad stripes, the innermost being brown (13 cm wide) and the outermost white (10 cm wide). Inken Köhler, Ulrike Rehr, Gundolf Krüger