Unusual Masi Found in Museum

An interesting piece of history was recently found in the vaults of the Australian Museum that I thought is worth sharing. An edition of the Fiji Times newspaper was printed on a segment of Fijian masi (or tapa cloth). The date of the Fiji Times edition was April 04, 1925 when the newspaper was then called the Fiji Times and Herald.

masiAn example of Fijian masi

The masi was immaculately preserved and in the same condition it was in after it left the club that confidently beat the mulberry bark into what eventually became a masi. Typically, masi will turn yellow with age and constant touch. However, these two pieces still retained their pristine beauty, and allowed them to beautifully contrast the black ink used to print this edition of the Fiji Times on it.

masi2Another example of Fijian masi

It is unclear as to why someone thought it was such a good idea to print an edition of the Fiji Times on masi or why they chose this particular date to print.

Check out the full article at Fiji Times. Unfortunately, the article does not include a picture of the masi with the printed edition.

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About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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