Friday, February 19, 2010

Sci-Tech Siapo

Hamilton Library's Science and Technology (SciTech) department recently recieved an important donation of Pacific art: a three- by five-foot piece of siapo mamanu (a.k.a. kapa, tapa or bark-cloth) made by Mary Pritchard. Pritchard is renowned in kapa-making circles as the person who almost single-handedly revived the art of siapo in American Samoa. The piece was donated by Joan Griffis, who purchased it from Mary Pritchard in the late 1960s. It now hangs in the SciTech department, on the right-side wall as you enter via the library's first floor Bridge Gallery. At the time of her siapo gift, Ms. Griffis also donated a small collection of 35mm slides to the library's Pacific Collection, which document the process of siapo making in American Samoa, circa 1967. To view these slides online and learn more about Ms. Griffis' time in American Samoa, click here. To learn more about Mary Pritchard, click here. For more information on siapo making, see also Mary Pritchard's book, Siapo: bark cloth art of Samoa.

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