1966 photo of Fa’amanū Lefiti, Leitupā Lifa Niumata, So’oupu Aina Nua, skilled siapo makers from Ta’ū Manu’a.
Siapo, often referred to as tapa, is a traditional mulberry bark cloth of Samoa. The dyes used to paint and design siapo, all come from nature they are:
O’A - Brown Dye
LOA - Red Dye
LAMA - Black Dye
AGO - Yellow Dye
SOA’A - Purple Dye
Soa’a a popular and rare dye for siapo. Its juice would be extracted from the stem of a mature soa’a. When cut in half it is purple.
It was a popular dye in Manu’a to create a deep purple almost plum color used to emphasize design and symbols on siapo.
PC - George Hastings
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