#741 Tapa Coconut

Acquired 2016

This special nativity from Maui is nestled within half of a coconut shell. My sister, Carole, & brother-in-law, Bob, where vacationing in Maui and found this nativity for me. It was made by a native named Nito. He signed the back of the coconut with a heart for “made in love”. However, the most unique part of this set is the Holy Family that is placed within the coconut.Joseph, Mary, and the Baby are made by a process called Tapa. Tapa is made in Polynesia. It is made from the inner bark of the Mulberry tree. It begins with a stripping and scrapping of the outer bark, using a shell. The bark is then beaten by a heavy square wooden club, which causes the fibers to spread thin into sheets of bark. Tapa is then dried, and hand painted. The ink that is used for painting is made from natural pigment.Carole presented the Tapa Coconut Nativity to me, February 2016.