Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Holly Pepper

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Currently I am undertaking an internship in Utrecht, Netherlands with the renowned design team consisting of Tejo Remy + Rene Veenhuizen. Through this blog I plan to document my design experience in Holland.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Siapo Making in Samoa

Today I visited Makulata a local Samoan Siapo maker. Makulata lives in a remote village named Siutu in Savaii. Through the help of Samoan socialite Steve Brown, I was able to track down a lesson on Siapo making. Siapo is a natural fabric or paper fiber made from mulberry bark. At the conclusion of a skillful two-hour session session of scrapping and beating the mulberry bark a surprisingly long length of fabric appeared approximately 1.5 meters by 5 meters.

Today Siapo is just used for decorative purposes, or as tourist souvenirs that travelers purchase. However, back before the missionaries arrived in Samoa, Samoans would dress in Siapo, completely natural and biodegradable clothing.


Once again another inspiring sustainable design experience. You really have to praise the work of cultural preservationists and historians who assist in documenting and preserving these traditional practices. It is traditional practices like Siapo making that I am attempting to learn from.

1 comment:

  1. Talofa Holly,

    I'm currently developing a free children's junior ranger activity book for visitors. One activity is about making siapo. If possible, I'd like to use a couple of your images in this small book. Please let me know.


    Michael Larson
    National Park of American Samoa


Midland Atelier

Midland Atelier
The Water Tower Studio.

The Water Tower View

The Floor Mat

The Floor Mat
This is an organic looking floor mat I am creating. It was inspired by mold crawling up the wall