Collingwood Bay Men’s Tapa Cloth-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
Back in the glory days when I had that slick San Francisco loft gallery I did an exhibition on the Art of the Massim & Collingwood Bay—see photo. In the accompanying catalog I wrote the following on this particular example—called “embo” from Mafuia village: In Collingwood Bay men wear long, thin strips of tapa that are first wrapped around the waist, then brought between the legs and knotted in front. This present example is a fragment from an original piece that would have been nearly twice as long. The design consists of vertical blocks either infilled with chevron motifs or black dots or left empty. These are separated from each other vertically by two parallel black lines and horizontally by between four and seven parallel black lines. The net effect is a pattern that is orderly, coolly refined and seemingly random” (no. 170, p. 264). The tapa has been professionally mounted on a black fabric stretched frame. The piece dates to the early 20th century, measures 60 ¼” (153 cm) by 16 ½” (41.9 cm) but as framed it is 64 ¾” (164.4 cm) by 20 ¾” (52.6 cm)—see the SF loft photo for how it looks mounted and displayed. The piece sells for $2800.