The rain came down overnight while we were away on holiday and the family in the tent behind us at the campsite were drying out their belongings. A large tapa cloth was flung over a wall and walked over to have a look at it. The tapa cloth was soaking wet, the layers were coming apart, and it was was full of holes.
“We just use it as a ground sheet”, the young couple told me. I told them that tapa cloth was completely made by hand, and was a highly revered item in the Islands, and usually given as gifts for weddings and funerals. “It doesn’t matter”, they told me, “we’ll just chuck this one out when it gets too holey, then pick up another one from the local Auckland pawn-shop.” It seems a shame indeed, that something so wonderful can be treated so little respect.