We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Diamond (Taimana)

circa 1960


Pepe Ria Anguna

08 Dec 1910 – 03 Sep 1983

  • Details

    circa 1960
    Media category
    Materials used
    hand-sewn tivaevae ta’orei, cotton
    238.0 x 217.0 x 0.5 cm
    Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Pepe Ria Anguna

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Pepe Ria Anguna

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Tivaevae, as they are known in the Cook Islands, or tifaifai, as they are known in Tahiti, are the vital women’s textile tradition practised throughout eastern Polynesia. Meaning ‘to patch’, tivaevae draw from both western and Polynesian sources. Though missionaries brought western quilt-making and modern fabrics to the Pacific, tivaevae have a direct connection to much older bark cloth traditions. Gifts of love, they are made for important rites of passage, from boys' haircutting celebrations to weddings and funerals.

    Of the different types of Cook Islands tivaevae, perhaps the most highly prized is the tivaevae ta’orei. These are made by the careful assembly of hundreds of tiny, coloured squares of cloth and take great skill to construct, such as in this fine, diamond-patterned example gifted to a member of the Sydney Cook Islands community by his grandmother. She made it over many months and presented it to him at his haircutting ceremony – an important coming-of-age celebration for young Cook Islander boys – in November 1960.

    Before its inclusion in the 2021 exhibition Matisse Alive, the only other time this piece – considered a family and community treasure – was brought out from careful storage, was for the haircutting ceremony of the owner's grandson exactly 50 years later, in November 2010.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Matisse Alive, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Oct 2021–03 Apr 2022