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General Information
Feature Films Moana
Video Games
Background Information
Purpose(s) To show ancient stories
Location(s) Motunui
Powers and Abilities

Tapa cloths are made from the bark of trees. Some tapa cloths include elaborate designs, made for telling legends, whereas some tapa cloths just show simple designs. Tapa cloths are the form of paper used in Moana's village. Before Moana's time, villagers would use plants and squid or octopus ink to imprint designs on the tapa cloths. Now the villagers use paint.


Essential guide description

For thousands of years, Oceanic people have created "tapa"- cloth made out of tree bark. Every tapa tells a story. Some tapa have simple block-printed designs, while others are painted to tell great legends!

Role in the Movie

Tapa cloths are first seen when Gramma Tala is telling a story to the young ones at the beginning of the movie. Chief Tui hits a wall, and all sorts of tapa cloths revealing monsters begin to fall down.

Later in the film, when Gramma Tala is dying, a tapa cloth picturing Maui can be seen above her head.

Moana's painting is made on tapa cloth. Moana's painting appears briefly in the song "Where You Are.Moana is painting with some other younglings, and when we see her picture, it is a boat. Chief Tui is disappointed with this because he wants to discourage her love of the ocean.


  • The first of the tapestries Chief Tui reveals is Marshmallow from the movie Frozen.
  • When first seen, the tapestry next to the Maui tapestry is different from when it is seen a few seconds later.
  • During the credits, a tapestry of Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph can be seen.