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Tongan Carved Wooden Bark Cloth (Tapa or Ngatu) Beater (Ike)

19th century

length: 32cm, diameter of head: 6.5cm



Peter Adler Collection, UK.

This beater is composed of a single piece of heavy hard wood, with a handle at one end and a large rectangular head at the other carved with four deep grooves on each of three of the four sides. It was used to beat bark for the production of bark cloth (tapaor ngatu).

It has a fine chocolate patina. There are no splits or chips, and is in fine condition.


Kaeppler, A. L., Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art, University of Hawaii Press, 2010.

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