About this object

A rectangular cloak (korowai) made from New Zealand Flax fibre with fringes on the side and bottom edges, and a few remaining tassels on the main section of the cloak.

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 fringe, and finished in folded over warps at the top (neck) edge, where they have been cut. There are four rows of single-pair twining at the neck edge on one side, and loose warps threads form small fringes at each side of the neck edge. The wefts form fringes down each side. There are seven or eight warps per cm and the wefts are 5-8mm apart.

There are six extra wefts (aho poka) on each side at the shoulder area and six on each side at the hip to provide shaping, some grouped, some interpolated. Also three about 10 cms long branching off the weft and re-joining it on one side near the bottom, and one very short extra weft on the other side. The side edges have brown wool warps.

Tassels are inserted upside down along the fringe at the bottom edge, along the sides, and on the main part of the cloak. They are two-ply, rolled and undyed.

There are the remains of brown and grey wool running threads and pompoms at intervals on the main part of the cloak. Also black-dyed tassels (vertically-attached), broken off.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century before
  • Materials
    Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Textile Wool; Technique: Twined
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    138.0 x 0.7 x 126.0 cm
  • Note
    Attributions: 19th century, if not 18th century (David Simmons, 1978); may be older type (Mick Pendergrast, March 1994). Comments: Unusual to have the bottom edge finished in this way (Patricia Wallace, 18 December 2003). Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum from Mrs Funnell.
  • Related people
    R Mrs Funnell ( Previous owner); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1956
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • R Mrs Funnell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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