National Geographic : 1899 Jun
214 SAMOA : NA VIGA TORS ISLANDS tapais in no sense a woven fabric, but in the material employed, as well as in the processes of its manufacture, is more a paper than a cloth. Tapa is the inner bark of Broussonetiapapyrifera,a member of the mulberry family. It is beaten out on aboard and the narrow strips are joined together with a paste of arrowroot, so as to form any width or length required. The juice of berries, red clay, and the soot of the burned candle-nut furnish the coloring SAMOAN BRIDE matter with which to form the figures and designs generally seen on the native cloth. The fabric can be beaten out as thin as the most delicate tissue paper, and in this form is soft and smooth in texture. Fine mats are skillfully woven by women from the leaf fibers of a species of pandanus,which are scraped as thin as tissue paper. They are regarded as heirlooms and are carefully preserved.