Tapa from Tonga & the Pacific Islands

A catalog featuring tapa and other Polynesian objects from the collection of
the California Academy of Sciences

Ping-Ann Addo, Ph.D.

Pieces of Cloth, Pieces of Culture: Tapa from Tonga and the Pacific Islands

Pieces of Cloth, Pieces of Culture: Tapa from Tonga and the Pacific Islands is a catalogue of contemporary and antique tapa (bark cloth), mainly from Tonga, from an exhibit that debuted in Oakland in 2004. The focus of the exhibit was a large (16' x 24') tapa made especially for this exhibit by Tongan women living in the San Francisco Bay Area, shown with tapa cloths from the collection of the Department of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences. Text includes essays on the cultural significance and history of tapa cloth, tools and materials used, and the process of making tapa, as well as information on the Bay Area Tongan community and interviews with the artists.

Pieces of Cloth, Pieces of Culture: Tapa from Tonga and the Pacific Islands was published by the California College of the Arts, Oakland, California, in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, 2004. 50 pages, 34 color plates, 44 black & white photographs.

The entire collection of tapa, Tongan and Polynesian objects at the California Academy of Sciences is available to view online.

  Sonia BasSheva Mañjon, Ph.D.
Curator's Note
  Ping-Ann Addo, Ph.D.
Message from the Tonga Consul General, San Francisco
  The Honorable Tevita Kolokihakaufisi
Tapa at the California Academy of Sciences
  Russell Hartman
Introduction: Treasured Textiles and Transnational Tongan Communities
1: Ngatu in Oakland: New Cloth, New Song, New Associations
2: Tongan Communities, Arts, and Artists in the San Francisco Bay Area
Artists' Statements and Portraits
3: Encountering Tapa in the Pacific Island
4: Tongan Arts as a Transnational Culture System



Pieces of Cloth, Pieces of Culture: Tapa from Tonga and the Pacific Islands
$ 10.86 California (with 8.625% California sales tax)
$ 10.00 Domestic (non-California U.S. shipping addresses)
$ 13.00 International (non-U.S. shipping addresses)

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Anthropology Publications
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone: 415-379-5383
Email: anthropology at calacademy dot org

Last updated 07 January 2022


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Anthropology Collections

Our permanent research collection consists of more than 16,000 objects, most of which are ethnographic. Current strengths include holdings from the U.S. Southwest and the Pacific Islands, and basketry from California. Our searchable online database features the entire Anthropology collection, including digital images for every piece.

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