Skirt / Cape


About this object

A garment (piupiu or rapaki) which could be worn either as skirt or a cape. It is made from New Zealand flax, with a fringe of partly stripped and dyed cylindrical leaf tags in black and off-white.

The back section is 42 cms in length from the waist down, with three lines of extra wefts (aho poka) on each side to provide shaping. The overlapping cylindrical tags that make up the fringe are different lengths and attached in pairs. One end of the waist plait forms a tie, the other end has a separate tie attached.

This garment was made by finger-weaving or twining without the use of a loom. The technique used is single-pair twining, which forms the wefts (aho). This began at the bottom edge and finished at the top edge with a plait forming the waist band. There are three rows of thick single-pair twining near the plait, using two warp threads (whenu) together. The tags of the fringe are the ends of extra warp threads (whenu), and are inserted on every second line of twining, except two together on the third and fourth lines down from the waist plait. The twining has four warp threads per cm, and the wefts are 20-25mm apart.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1872 before
  • Materials
    Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Dye; Technique: Twined, dyed
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, 1942
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    112.0 x 1.0 x 56.0 cm
  • Note
    Acquired by Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Taunton Museum, from Mr A Malet, in 1872.
  • Related people
    A Mr Malet ( Previous owner); Taunton Museum ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Taunton Museum

    Owned from: 1872
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1942
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • A Mr Malet

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1872
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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