Island Art of the Seacology Office (Part IV): Headdress & Tall Tapa
Hanging on one of our office walls is a Miao Headdress pictured to the right. The Miao people are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in China. Our executive director, Duane Silverstein, purchased this hat from a local woman (pictured above) on Hainan Island during Seacology's 2005 expedition to China. Although not a small island (with a population of millions), the residents of Hainan seemed to have very little contact with the western world, and, according to Duane, many were quite surprised to see a group of foreigners walking down the street!
To the right are two women creating these beautiful headdresses (photo credit: Teng Wei). Seacology's project on Hainan Island consisted of helping to fund scholarships for the children of four villages around the Bawangling Reserve in exchange for the protection of the Hainan Gibbon, one of the world's most endangered primates.
To the left is a traditional Polynesia tapa cloth presented to Duane Silverstein by Chief Va'asilifiti Moelagi Jackson of Western Samoa. I discussed tapa cloth in my blog post on the art of Fiji. This is an example from the nearby country of Samoa. Chief Va'asilifiti Moelagi Jackson was honored with the 1994 Seacology Prize for her efforts in creating Fa'asao Savai'i, one of the first indigenous conservation organizations in the South Pacific.
To the right is yet another fine example of tapa cloth art. Although probably not evident by this photograph, this tapa cloth has got to be over 6 feet tall - it is truly a beautiful piece of work, and makes my numerous daily trips to the printer much more enjoyable!
I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse of Seacology's artwork over the course of the past few weeks. In addition to knowing that the organization I work for is making a difference around the world, I am truly fortunate to employed by Seacology in that I get to work in an office filled with such amazing island art.