Definition of tapa in English:



mass noun
  • 1The 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. 1.1 Cloth made from tapa, used in the Pacific islands.
      • ‘Beaded cloth from India, Indonesian batiks, and Hawaiian tapa are perfect for pillows or throws.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


Early 19th century: of Polynesian origin.