Sunday, November 2, 2008

Swapmeet Find

Quite often on a Sunday morning, especially if it is a lovely day like today, we go to Swapmeet. These are known in other places as Boot Sales or Trash and Treasure and are usually held in the carpark of a shopping centre. There are two quite close to us, both run by the Rotary Club of Booragoon; one at Melville, the other at Kardinya.

We went to the Kardinya one today. Nothing of interest - even the books failed to engage my attention. Then I saw it - a piece of tapa about a metre long and 30 cm wide. When we lived at Popondetta in the Northern (now Oro) District of Papua in the early 70's I used to buy it from the women who made it for the girls at the Vocational Centre to make into bags and hats for sale to tourists. I still have quite a few pieces.

The seller said she thought it came from Fiji. No, said I, it's from Papua New Guinea. She did know that it was made from bark, but had not known the name tapa. It is a good piece; no holes in the cloth and well painted. I think it is more recent than the pieces I have, but it still used the traditional techniques.

The seller had been given it some years before and had intended to make it into a book cover. I am so glad that there are other people who don't convert their ideas into projects, and even more glad that some of them take their bits to Swapmeet.

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