Hiapo: Past and Present in Niuean Barkcloth
Tapa, or barkcloth, is called 'hiapo' in the language of Niue Island in central Polynesia. The painted hiapo of Niue is a remarkable art that until now has been obscure to all but a few specialists. Most known pieces of hiapo were produced between 1850 and 1900. They are now dispersed, largely in museum collections, all over the world. The illustrations in this book, most of which are in full color, bring together hiapo from all over the world. Hiapo paintings range from abstract patterns to detailed rendering of plants, people and ships.
Collectively, the paintings offer a window on life in Niue in the second half of the 19th century, a time when missionaries, traders and locals were intermingling with increasing frequency.