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Rare Tapa Lake Sentani Bark Cloth Abstract Hand Painting Tribal Art 32" Papua 40 For Sale
Optical illusions, the geckoes turn into bullfrogs at each end.
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Check my “Me” page on (next to the star with my number of transactions) for valuable information about all we carry besides what is currently listed since we do not have time to list everything at once and will add these other items as time permits. If you have any questions, contact us or call for documents on pieces.
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You are buying the tapa loincloth seenon first picture in perfect condition
Pristinesuperb geometric motif done to perfection with animal motifs, geckoes and lizard and bull frogs
great mirror image and perfection of the repeated pattern.
All our handcrafted or rare collector items come with pages and pages of research, about provenance, with history of the tribes and photos as well, depending on item and whenever possible.
Rare art! Size verylarge32"x 19,5". Very detailed, one of a kind, unique tribal art painting on bark from Lake Sentani, Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea, that we collected on the premises. This traditional piece is beautiful in every way. Highly collectable! The stylized designs have spiritual meaning. Delightful motifs, great condition. The Sentani area of Irian Jaya is famous for abstract paintings written or painted on bark: The bark is peeled off and flattened then painted.
Lake Sentani barkcloth is highly distinctive, and generally took the form of maro (skirts or loincloths). Some pieces feature seemingly abstract, highly dynamic interlocked curvilinear forms, and others hybrid fish-like or lizard-like creatures, often with human faces. Sentani bark pictures are usually only three colors, black, white and red. Black is made from charcoal, white from sea-shell, red from Sentani soil. Sometimes there are natural holes within the bark and the designs.
Tapa, or Bark Cloth, is a nonwoven fabric decorated with figurative and abstract designs usually applied by scratching or by painting. The basic clothlike material, produced from the inner bark, or bast, of certain trees (bark fiber), is made by stripping off the bast, soaking it, and beating it to make the fibers interlace and to reduce thickness. The most popular material is the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree, although breadfruit and fig trees are also used. Hand-painted bark cloth is limited today primarily to northern Australia, the island of New Guinea, and parts of Melanesia.
Spirals symbolize the swirl of Lake Sentani itself or so some claim: Official art developers convinced tribal leaders to abolish traditional carving rights and restrictions on the use of motifs, arguing that such concerns were no longer relevant. Among contemporary bark cloth paintings produced by the Asei islanders of Lake Sentani, one will notice several unusual pieces clearly combining both Asmat and Sentani motifs. The Asmat motifs were the 'bipane' (boar tusk nosepiece symbol) and hornbill head (in brown), a crocodile (either Sentani or Asmat), Asmat human figures that transform into Sentani spiral motifs called 'fouw' and Sentani fish. Such a fusion is reminiscent of Batik Irian, yet the use of Asmat motifs by Sentani people for monetary gain goes against unspoken rules of conduct among many Papuan artists.
Numerous fish, including swordfish & sea turtles, are often painted on a piece of bark cloth from Asei or an other local village from Lake Sentani : Fish and other water animals were often portrayed on bark cloth since bark cloth has traditionally been the clothing of the married woman and since, in the Sentani region, it is mostly women who catch fish. Sentani Lake was an old sea inlet which had been separated from the ocean by a volcanic eruption. This is the reason why sea fish such as swordfish occur on the cloths. Traditionally, pieces of bark cloth were painted with patterns such as wavy lines and spirals. The current style, characterized by separate figures that seem to float freely in space, is probably a development of the 1920s and ‘30s. Women have created bark cloths paintings for centuries. The bark is first cleaned by scraping it with a shell. Thereafter, the outer bark is loosened with beaters and then cut away. The thinner, inner bark is worked with beaters until the cloth has the right thickness and dimensions. The cloth is soaked in water, wrung out, and then hung up in the sun to dry. The painting is man's work.
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Rare Tapa Lake Sentani Bark Cloth Abstract Hand Painting Tribal Art 32" Papua 40: $250