Peter Mesenhöller und Oliver Lueb (Eds.)

Made in Oceania:
Tapa – Kunst und Lebenswelten |
Art and Social Landscapes

250 pages, ca. 96 illustrations
21 x 27 cm

The soft-cover edition can be purchased for 29.90€ at the
museum shop (published as part of the series Ethnologica).
A hardcover edition of the catalogue is available in book stores or can be ordered directly from the publisher.


James Cook, the Bounty mutineers and 15 million people in Oceania: They are all connected by a unique ‘fabric’, made from the bark of trees. From clothing in Hawai’i to ritual masks in Papua New Guinea, from a room divider in Fiji to an important wedding gift in Samoa or even as the ‘red carpet’ during coronation ceremonies in Tonga – tapa can be found nearly everywhere in the Pacific.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition for the first time combines contributions on the various social and cultural meanings of tapa in Melanesia and Polynesia by internationally renowned experts from the USA, Australian, New Zealand and Europe. It covers the spectrum from the ‘souvenirs’ of the great journeys of ‘discovery’ of the late 18th century to the production and use of tapa as an expression of new identities in the 21st century. 
Special attention is given to the role of tapa motifs in Oceanian contemporary art which – in the continuing process of nation-building - also provide important stimuli to the discussion on global significance of artistic expression in migration and diaspora.