Samoan Oratory Mat

Samoan Oratory Mat

  • Artist

    Unknown artist

  • Production Date

    circa 1940

  • Medium

    ink on tapa cloth

  • Size

    1200 x 1700 mm

  • Credit

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Chartwell Gift Collection, 2013

  • Accession Number


  • Accession Date

    07 May 2013

  • Department

    International Art

  • Classification


  • Collection


  • Subjects

    mats (floor coverings)

  • Description

    This rare textile is a ceremonial mat for a Samoan orator to sit upon while delivering an elaborate spoken tribute. The painting’s designs are considered to be variations of celestial star patterns. They function like maps to assist a journey. There is also a parallel with traditional Samoan tatau (tattoo) designs. (Te Moananui a Kiwa, 2005)

Exhibition history