#18 Mask, Felt, Tapa.
What is a common point?

2020 . 06 . 01

Hello ! How are you doing ??
It was canceled the emergency declaration and now it’s time to wear ‘ Mask’!!
Are your mask a handmade mask ? One of tamaki niime’s mask ?Or a disposable mask??
Non-woven used for disposable masks is a family of felt fabric .
Actually there is a kind of non-woven , ‘ Tapa’ made by bark.

‘Non-woven fabric is a sheet that is not woven but entangled and put together in a sheet’ (by Wikipedia)

I think everyone might used felt or disposable masks. Felt is made of wool ,disposable mask fabric is made of chemical fiber like polyethylene or polypropylene with thermal, mechanical or chemical power. They seem to be less strength but better for mass production without weave than normal fabric.

‘ Tapa ‘ is made in the islands of Pacific area and called ‘ Ngatu’ in Tongan language in Tonga. It is like a Japanese handmade paper texture so it’s used for postcards now.
On the contrary, I think Tongan people treat it differently with paper.

Well, long time ago, Tongan people wore this ‘ngatu’
Nowadays they wear it only for a special festival or something but they lay it under the seat for a higher person .In addiction , they bury a dead person with it still now. Normal fabric is very new for Tonga. So nobody makes normal but a lot of women make ‘Ngatu’.

‘ Tonton, tonton, tonton, tonton, tonton,,,,,,’
In the early morning in Tongatapu island, if you hear those wood sound of beating , that is a sound of making ‘Ngatu’ !! The row material is wood endothelium called ‘tutu’.
They spread that shaved bark beating with wood stick. In the case of a big version like a photo, they connect with glue. Original glue is made from ‘ Mahoa’a Tonga’ with water .If they use this, ngatu will be very durable and beautiful compared with using flour with water. They won’t be eaten by insect. When they dye it, they draw traditional pattern of Tonga with red and black. These colour are from roots called ‘ Huhua’ .They are only two natural dye in Tonga.

I heard that women who can make durable and beautiful one can be ordered in order. Tongan people tend to pay for high quality one even high cost . That is one characteristic of Tongan consume for Tongan traditional things.

“ Cheaper is better ‘ thinking method is for imported things. I have an impression that many Tongans give an expert opinion for ngatu, taovala or kiekie ( #4 Where do you go with your favourite clothes? , #14 Have a professional ) . Of course it’s depend on the person and it’s just my feeling , I know. But because even young people give me those sense , I have thought they are familiar with those items through their life not only like teaching or saying from their parents.

Although they are also having a lot of imported things and traditional things clearly reduce to use or consume, Tongan traditional is not special for someone .Many Tongans take them for granted on daily life. I like those feeling of them.

My parents have some ‘Japanese Kimono’ ,but they wear it very very a few times at the ceremonial occasions. So, I don’t know how can I judge .It’s the same as daily necessities . Despite bing many traditional crafts like ‘ Alimatu diaphragm’ ,’Sheto pottery’, or lacquerware in my area, I don’t have special eyes for them ,only I decide with my favourite.

OK, maybe I will be able to be used it if I change what I see and use !!

Have you ever been conscious about your choice or habit until now and from now on??

If I compared it to a mask, disposal mask will be still chosen out for a convenient item ??
After getting ‘Mask from Abe’ ,Japanese will use that white mask ??
Fashionable mask like tamaki niime collection will get a status of ‘MY Mask ‘ like ‘My bottle ‘ ??

Such a nice world where we can find so many possibilities with one mask !!
Have a fun day with big laugh ! Let’s boost your immunity !!

Author ; Miki Kato