Wednesday, 5 March 2008 3:06 PM

Traditional Tapa Valued in Tikopia

The Tapa cloth is a traditional clothing used by the people in Tikopia, a Polynesian outlier in the Solomon Islands.

Speaking to Solomon Times, Donald Raka from Tikopia said that before the Europeans came to Solomon Islands Tapa clothing was used by people as a traditional form of clothing. "It is unique and has a fundamental purpose to the people of our society," said Mr. Raka.

"It is significant to us because we use it for many purposes, it can be used during funerals for covering the dead body before it is laid to rest and also during ceremonial times," said Mr. Raka.

Mr. Raka stated that the Tapa is made out of the bark of a tree using traditional tools to beat the bark into its fine mat form.

"Even though today a lot of changes are taking place especially when it comes to clothing, yet our people still value the importance of the traditional cloth," said Mr. Raka.