Definition of tapa in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The bark of the paper mulberry tree.

    • ‘Boys learn to plant, cultivate, cook, and fish; girls learn to cook and are taught how to prepare tapa for decoration or clothing.’
    1. 1.1Cloth made from tapa, used in the Pacific islands.
      • ‘On Wallis, there is no longer a central market but, as we have seen in the early sections of this paper, there is an important informal market for pigs, fish, tapa and mats.’
      • ‘The person is dressed in tapa, carries a whale's tooth, and is then seated on the ground for the tooth to be presented and listens to the speeches.’
      • ‘Beaded cloth from India, Indonesian batiks, and Hawaiian tapa are perfect for pillows or throws.’
      • ‘The principal tasks for Wallisian men are the production of food in the form of root crops, pigs and seafood, whereas women produce tapa and mats.’
      • ‘The attitude criticized in the words by the author quoted above also explains the importance of pigs, yams and taro for men and that of tapa and mats for women.’


Early 19th century: of Polynesian origin.