About this object

A flat rectangular bag (kete muka) made from New Zealand flax, in dark brown, yellow and undyed fibre forming vertical stripes, and running threads along the wefts. There is a wide gold and undyed fringe around three sides on the back and front, and two twisted fibre handles with tassels at the ends.

This bag was made by finger-weaving or twining and the main technique is single-pair twining, which forms the wefts (aho). This began at the top edge with a selvedge, and finished at the bottom where the warp threads (whenu) were left loose, and are covered by the fringes. There are five warps per cm, and the wefts are 14 mm apart. The fringe threads are joined by a line of single-pair twining and sewn onto the bottom and side edges. There is one fringe on the back of the bag and one on the front.

There are running threads twined into the weft at every sixth warp, some in dark brown thread (single), giving an 's' shape, some in gold (double), giving a flattened 'o' shape. There are alternating double rows of these on front and back.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Personal Object; Container
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1929 before
  • Materials
    Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Dye; Technique: Twined, dyed
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    29.8 x 0.4 x 22.5 cm
  • Note
    Acquired by the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum at Glendining's Auction Rooms, 30-31 January and 1 February 1929, Lot 371 (Mr Gardner).
  • Related people
    Glendining and Co Ltd ( Previous owner); Wilfrid Sir Peek ( Previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

    Owned from: 1929-02-01
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1951
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Glendining and Co Ltd

    Owned from: 1929-02-01
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1929-02-01
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Wilfrid Sir Peek

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1929-02-01
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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