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The textiles presented in the exhibit are part of the College of Fine Arts’ collection and have never before been displayed to the public.
The collection features two large-scale tapa cloths, or barkcloths, made by Samoan and Tongan women that date back to the early 1900s.
Long-distance trade of obsidian, adzes, and favourable adze source rock and shells was practiced.
Excavation of a large cemetery at Teouma on Efate Island in Vanuatu, discovered in 2003, found 36 bodies in 25 graves, as well as burial jars.
The pieces displayed are highly valued and many are an important aspect of ceremonial and cultural events.
Undecorated "plain-ware" pottery is an important part of the Lapita cultural complex, which also includes ground-stone adzes and shell artifacts, and flaked-stone tools of obsidian, chert, and other available rock, as well as the remainders of beakers, cooking pots, and bowls.
Domesticates consisted of pigs, dogs, and chickens.
The characteristics of the Lapita culture are the extension of human settlement to previously uninhabited islands scattered over a large area in the Pacific Ocean, the spread of Oceanic languages in that area, the distinctive geometric dentate-stamped pottery, and the use and widespread distribution of obsidian.
The Lapita were expert seafarers and navigators, reaching out and finding islands separated from each other by hundreds of kilometres of empty ocean.