Tapa cloth is made by repeatedly pounding the inner bark
of a mulberry bush into a fine and supple material. These strips are then
joined and decoratively painted using ancient templates and stamps. Though
not made in Utah, local Tongans import tapa for ceremonies, gifts and
clothing. Many Tongan born immigrants to Utah know how to make tapa and
demonstrate these skills at local festivals.
Courtesy of the Utah Arts Council
Photo by Elaine Thatcher, 1990
Polynesian Gift to Utah is made possible by a
generous grant from the R. Harold Burton Foundation.
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