As recently as 150 years ago when a Fijian chief died, his wives were strangled with a sacred fabric called tapa cloth (or sometimes called masi cloth). This cloth is still used widely today in Fiji – although not for the same purpose – and is collected by galleries and museums around the world. Fijian people have retained a mystical attachment to the cloth, using it for all ceremonial occasions including birthdays and funerals.
Cloth of the Gods documents the production of tapa cloth in Fiji, taking us to Vatulele Island where we see how a small mulberry tree is harvested to produce a wonderful linen fabric. We go to a village near Suva where some of the best designers and printers create earth-toned geometric patterns which derive from the mists of time. This is the story of a unique and ancient craft that resists modernization and helps Fijians stay connected with their past.