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Mat: Tongan Rectangular Design # 38Brand new, handmade tapa and artistry from Fiji! This tapa mat was made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry or the breadfruit tree; the process of making tapa is a Polynesian tradition. The outer bark is stripped and scraped with a shell, then the inner bark is beaten with a wooden club against a hollow length of hardwood. As the materials expand, the sheets are layered one over the other, then interwoven by continuous beating. During this entire process, the cloth is always kept wet, and afterwards it is laid out in the sun to dry. It is then ready to receive its own unique design using natural pigments, usually from kukui nut oil. This mat, measuring approx. 18" x 12", features a traditional Tongan design, and was handcrafted in Fiji. These mats make excellent wall hangings, decorations, or covers for books.