0

BG_fondujpg
footerpng

HOME  /  NEWS  /  PRESS  /  NEWSLETTER  /  CONTACT US  /  SPONSORS

HOME  /  NEWS  /  PRESS  /  NEWSLETTER 

CONTACT US  /  SPONSORS

SCROLLgif

As on other Marquesas islands, the population of Fatu Hiva suffered a veritable ethnocide with the arrival of the first colonizers. Annexed by France in 1842, the archipelago saw its population dwindle from 100,000 to 6,000 in about thirty years. During this time, cultural practices were declared illegal, and gradually started to be forgotten. It is only in 1952 that village sculptor Léon Haiheana Teiituetahi, during an art class, engraved ancient tattoo motifs on tapas in order to teach them to his students. The decorated tapa was born. But it wasn’t until His Excellency Le Cléac’h, a bishop from Brittany, appointed to the archipelago from 1973 to 1981, that the Marquesans reconnected with their culture and know-how, and learned to be proud of them.

“Fatu Hiva is the only one that has kept its tapa”

Every tapa is unique. It is the work of a woman. Each has her style, her signature, her craft secrets. A tapa can cost up to 3,000 euros and be up to 38 meters long, a record beaten during the 2014 tapa festival! Today, Sarah Vaki shows her tapas all over the world and is reinventing its uses. She has, for instance, recently created with french visual arts stylist Isabelle Arciero-Mahier, a dress made out of tapa and silk. She also dreams of introducing the marquesan cloth into the dressing rooms of artists. In the evening, Sara loves to spend time alone with her tapas. They are not the oldest, but the most beautiful in her eyes.

The tapa is the story of a sacred cloth, popular and artistic, saved from oblivion by the women.

A craft that keeps them from vanishing on this land of men at the far end of the world.

“These are my tapas, they will remain with me”

“I never could have imagined that the tapa would become known worldwide”

- Paroles de tapa Hélène Guiot

to purchase the DVD :

http://www.oceanistes.org/oceanie/boutique/paroles-de-tapa/

- Tapa by Michel Charleux, published by Somogy éditions d'Art

- Mata Hoata, Arts et Société aux Iles Marquises published by Actes Sud

- Jean Philippe Joaquim’s documentary:

Artisanes : Sarah et le savoir-faire des femmes de Fatu-Hiva 

https://www.tntvreplay.pf/Artisanes-Sarah-et-le-savoir-faire-des-femmes-de-Fatu-Hiva_v9379.html

 

 

TAPAS : A PRECIOUS TREASURE

FOR MORE INFORMATION

THE REBIRTH OF THE TAPA

Une quête de la vérité sur la route des larmes

 

C'est à l’hôtel Bonaventure de Montréal qu'ont eu lieu les premières auditions de la commission d’enquête. Fanny Wylde retrouve Cheryl, de la communauté Mohawk, sidérée par le désintérêt de la police pour la recherche de sa sœur après le signalement de sa disparition. Carleen, mère de trois enfants, sera retrouvée par hasard par un chasseur, sept semaines plus tard, à deux kilomètres de chez elle. Morte. Elle s'est suicidée. Cheryl s’interroge encore sur une forme de racisme, l’apathie politique et l’indifférence des médias qui font passer ces crimes pour de simple faits divers. Pour Cheryl et pour toutes les autres familles de victimes, la commission d’enquête offre une lueur d’espoir et de justice.

THE SECRET OF TAPA-MAKING

This is the isle of superlatives. The furthest away, the wildest, the rainiest. This morning the forest exhales its humus-infused breath, like a wet kiss from the water-logged earth. The vegetation is luxuriant, the air fragrant with a thousand scents: coconut, papaya, lemon, mango and tapa trees. Here, everything grows in abundance. The lunar calendar invites Sarah to cut banyan tree bark, but she will have to await the morning dew to harvest blackberry bush. This will be followed by lengthy work. The process can take weeks. It consists in detaching the bark and scraping it, in order to save nothing but its inner layer, which is then pounded until it turns into a brownish red cloth.

Men are not allowed to witness tapa-making.

“I ask the tree for permission to cut a root, a trunk”

A few facts about Fatu Hiva:

Bibliography / Films

TRANSMITTING MEANS NOT VANISHING

Sarah Vaki is from Fatu Hiva. Her island is a shell, a sanctuary. From the ocean, all one can see is the tiny tip of a white steeple and a main street leading to the village of Oméa, cradled in a narrow verdant valley. Moving closer, a sound can be heard, emanating from a wooden house. It is the sound of the mallet. Sarah has been making tapas for over fifty years. When this schoolteacher talks about these vegetal parchments, made of laminated bark and decorated with Marquesan motifs, which were sometimes used to clothe the men as well as statues of the gods, her eyes light up. She is proud of this know-how and says she is still protected by her ancestors and her stone idols – the tikis, or anthropomorphous sculptures. They watch over her on the land of Fatu Hiva.

“It is like a creation, this cloth that our womanly hands have pounded.”

Located fifteen hundred kilometers north-east of Tahiti, Fatu Hiva is a French island in the Marquesas archipelago.

 

We enter this decor, a mere ten kilometers long and reminiscent of a luxuriant cathedral, through its founding myths, because every one of the archipelago’s islands was once associated with an element of a large house and had its own function and specificity.

For Fatu Hiva, it is the palm roof and the tapa, a cloth made from pounded bark and decorated with drawings. This tapa was used as material for rituals and as a cloth to cover men’s nudity from birth to death.

Though it was forbidden by the colonizing forces, to the point of almost being forgotten, the tapa and the know-how to make it was secretly passed on by women, from generation to generation.

But it wasn’t until the 1970s, with the birth of the Marquesas’ cultural awakening and identity awareness, that the tapa was recognized and celebrated. Nowadays, the entire island lives to the rhythm of the tapa. It is a veritable economy, managed by the women.

“Knowledge that keep us from disappearing”

WIDE

ROAD

PRIMARY

SCHOOLS

LONG

POPULATION

SUPPLIES BROUGHT IN BY SCHOONER

Sarah Vaki is president of the craft and culture non-profit “Te heikua o te vehine” and vice-president of the Marquesan cultural federation “Motuhaka”.

VILLAGES

OMOA AND HANNAVAVÉ

KM

KM

PORTRAIT

PORTRAIT 

THE REBIRTH OF THE TAPA

THE REBIRTH OF THE TAPA

TAPA-MAKING

TAPA-MAKING

TAPAS : A  PRECIOUS TREASURE

TAPAS : A  PRECIOUS TREASURE

TAPA AMBASSADOR

TITRE-symbole-quebec copy

SARAH      VAKI

Sous_menu-Open copy
BT-partage
TITRE-symbole-quebec

SARAH      VAKI

MENU _BT_menu-Open
separateurs-menu copy

TAPAS : A PRECIOUS TREASURE

CRÉDITS

THE SECRET OF TAPA-MAKING

THE REBIRTH OF THE TAPA 

TO KNOW MORE

THE PORTRAIT

THE SUBJECT

btn_close_quebec
LOGO-fa-black copy (1)
footerpng

HOME  /  NEWS  /  PRESS  /  NEWSLETTER  /  CONTACT US  /  SPONSORS

HOME  /  NEWS  /  PRESS  /  NEWSLETTER 

CONTACT US  /  SPONSORS