About this object

A rectangular cloak (korowai hihima) made from New Zealand Flax fibre with tassels at intervals on the outside, and forming fringes on all edges. The fibre is mainly undyed.

This garment was made by finger-weaving or twining without the use of a loom. The main technique used is double-pair twining, which forms the wefts (aho). This began at the bottom edge with the loose ends of the warps (whenu) forming a short fringe, with pairs in tassels, and finished by being folded over at the neck edge. There are seven to eight warps per cm, and the 'wefts' (aho) are 10-12mm apart. There are eight grouped extra wefts (aho poka) on each side of the shoulder area and two on each side at the hip to provide shaping. There are also two very short ones above each shoulder. The side edges have twined two-ply warps in dark and light fibre. The wefts are cut and tied off.

The rolled tassels on the main part of the cloak and its side edges are two-ply and inserted sideways. They are inserted upside down on the top and bottom edges. There are also the remains of partly stripped tassels in places.

The tassels are missing from part of the neck edge and there are holes and broken wefts in several places. The cloak is stained, especially along the central fold.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    Before 1832
  • Materials
    Fibre Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Technique: Twined
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    130.0 x 1.0 x 124.0 cm
  • Note
    Comments: Very rare cloak, very special (Maureen Lander, 7 June 2006).

    Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum from Reverend JF Treadway in 1832.
  • Related people
    Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Previous owner); J F Rev Treadway (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?


Previous owners

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: 1832
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1956
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • J F Rev Treadway

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1832
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
No media found
Page load time: 140 ms