Summary

Long rectangular bark cloth pieces were worn by men as a loin cloth. The cloth is made by women by beating the bark of tree (here, possibly a ficus) and then painting it. Women wear a wider rectangular cloth worn around the waist.

Peoples along the coast of Northern Province as far south as Collingwood Bay and inland are well known for their beaten bark cloth which was worn by both men and women, but also formed an important item in local trade networks. The designs tend to be geometric - either rectilinear and curvilinear - and may include animal or plant figures. Each group has its own designs and style of painting. Some designs continue to be owned by specific families or clans and might represent totem plants or animals and must not be used by people outside of the family or clan. Today, people tend to reserve use of cloth with clan designs for ceremonial occasions. Here, the cloth displays a person's clan identity.

Physical Description

Loin cloth made from bark cloth, with patterns painted along the length of the front. There are a number of holes in the cloth.

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