Bark cloth; length of undecorated tapa
INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander bark cloth
L. 1720mm, W. 670mm
Tapa cloth: piece \ from. \ Made by dear friend \ Edith's aunt. \ Edith important lady in \ Melanesia. Translated Mothers \ Union book to simple \ English.\ Started \ literacy long before govt. \ did. Edith from Isabel \ 1950s. Made specially \ for Helen as a present."
History and use
This object is from the Helen Barrett collection, which was donated to Queensland Museum in 2014. Miss Helen Barrett worked as a nurse with the Australian Board of Mission in Solomon Islands from 1947 until 1984. Barrett was based at Tasia in Isabel Province, and Maravovo on Guadalcanal before being stationed at the Hospital of the Epiphany at Fauabu, Malaita. She was at Fauabu from 1968 until 1984. In the 1990s, Barrett worked with the Mothers Union in the Torres Strait Islands. Her collection largely comprises of objects that were presented as gifts over the course of her missionary work in Melanesia.
This piece of bark cloth was given to the donor on Santa Isabel in the 1950s.