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Samoan Material Culture

Varieties of Rubbed Cloth

Varieties of Rubbed Cloth

Cloth prepared by the rubbing process receives names according to the size and the uses to which it is put: siapo, though a general name, also denotes the shorter-sized pieces suitable for use as a kilt—the reward given to a talking chief for calling the kava, is referred to as one or more siapo; potu, a sheet larger than a siapo, often used as a small screen. Pratt (23, p. 224) gives it as the screen from behind which a spirit spoke; pupuni, a large sheet used as a screen to shut off an end of a house; ta'i namu, a sheet used to make mosquito curtains; ululima, a large sheet measuring fifty lengths of the upeti tablet; uluselau, a very large sheet measuring 100 lengths of the upeii.