bark cloth (barkcloth)

Francis Godolphin Bond (1765-1839)


Donated to RAMM by the Devon & Exeter Institution. Entry in museum register January 1872 states “13 pieces of tapa cloth. Otaheite. Presented by Captain Bond RN.”
Length 1750 x width = 1270mm

Anne D’Alleva, 1994
“Rectangular piece of off-white barkcloth, showing yellow pigment in areas, originally yellow color. Piece of fine, black barkcloth overlaid in centre. This with scissor-cut, zigzag and indented borders on three sides. Two rectangular windows cut out of this, set in v-shape in centre, showing red barkcloth underneath. The red barkcloth with rows of diamond-shaped cutouts. The border of the white cloth elaborated with ruled and painted red triangles, and small red single and double fern prints. On long edge of black overlay, a square and a triangle of red dentate edge barkcloth underlaid; one short edge has a small triangular and a rectangular piece. Beater marks on all cloth 11 grooves/cm.
Possibly an ‘ahu-faria, a kind of cape worn around the shoulders (see Ellis 1831:182). Stylistically related to a barkcloth in the British Museum, collected by the Providence’s midshipman, Matthew Flinders, and to the mourning dress cape (E1778b).”

This object is not on display.

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