John O’Malley: Ha’apai, Tonga Volunteer Interview

Today’s post is an interview with Returned Peace Corps Volunteer John (“Sione” in Tongan) O’Malley, who served in Ha’apai from 2009 to 2012.¬† John is now wrapping up his service in Liberia where he works as a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader, but he’s generously taken some time to answer questions about his time in Ha’apai,…

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How to Make Tongan Tapa Cloth (Ngatu)

What’s Tapa? Tapa-making is a traditional art form whereby the inner bark of certain trees is softened and pounded into sheets of cloth, then bound together using natural starches such as root crop. The tapa making tradition is found all across Oceania, but due to the labor-intense nature of its production, the craft has largely…

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