About this object

A rectangular cloak (pihepihe) made from New Zealand Flax, with black tassels and partly stripped and dyed tassels at intervals on the outside, kiwi feathers around three edges and a black tassel fringe along the fourth (neck) edge.

This garment was made by finger-weaving or twining without the use of a loom, which forms the wefts (aho). The main technique is double-pair twining. This began with a selvedge at the bottom edge and ended with a plait at the neck edge. There are six warps per cm, and the wefts are seven mm apart.

There are three grouped extra wefts (aho poka) on each side at the middle and three each side at the hip to provide shaping. The loose ends of undyed 'warps' (whenu) at the ends of neck edge form small fringes. The side edges have twined two--ply warps, one of which is wool.

The rolled black two-ply tassels on the main part of the cloak are inserted sideways, at the neck edge upside down in pairs by single-pair twining. The partly stripped and dyed tassels are inserted vertically in pairs. The feathers are also inserted vertically in threes or fours.

Many of the partly stripped and dyed tassels are broken off. Some rolled black tassels are broken off near the fringe ends. The black-dyed flax is generally very fragile.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1933 before
  • Materials
    Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Feather Kiwi; Dye; Technique: Twined; dyed
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    112.0 x 1.5 x 110.0 cm
  • Note
    Attribution: 19th century (David Simmons, October 1981).

    Acquired by Beasley from Mr G Todd, 6 June 1933.
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley (Collector); Irene Beasley (Previous owner); G Mr Todd (Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: 1933-06-06
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • G Mr Todd

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1933-06-06
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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