For a small cover charge I got interesting information about their bark harvesting and processing in Uganda. Remember that the Bible talks about Adam and Eve having to wear fig leaves to cover their nakedness when they were thrown out of paradise? Well, perhaps it wasn't the leaf, but processed bark instead...
The Ugandan Ficus is related to the Banyan that we use here on Atiu, but in Uganda the trees are farmed and carefully attended to. On Atiu, they mainly grow wild in our rain forest on the sharp fossilized coral rocks and are hard to access. That's probably one reason why our women do not make tapa anymore.
|The late Mama Rangi Tutaka beating bark in 1988|
Most importantly, of course, I received a large collection of beautiful samples of Barktex's different bark products. Since in the end I decided to use white Paper Mulberry bark cloth for my thesis exhibition, I never did anything with the beautiful samples. They are too tempting to just let them sit here and get eaten by silverfish.
The green bark sample was lovely and thick and gave me the idea to try a long necklace that winds around your neck like a creeper.
Of course it needed a pair of matching earrings to complement it.
I like wearing black, so I wanted a pair of black earrings and played with the black tapa next.
Now I have a hard time to choose...