About this object

A rectangular cloak (korowai ngore) made from New Zealand flax with coloured wool pompoms and the remains of black tassels at intervals on the outside. There are wool running threads along the side edges and wool fringes around three sides. The neck edge has a fringe of black tassels.

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 loose warp (whenu) ends left as a fringe, and finished at the neck edge where the warps are folded over. The final warps at the side edges are red and blue wool. There are five or six warps per cm and the wefts (aho) are 10-11mm apart. There are two groups of three extra wefts (aho poka) on each side at the shoulder and two groups of two on each side at the hip to provide shaping.

The tassels are black-dyed, rolled and two-ply. On the main part of the cloak they are inserted sideways into the weft, at the neck upside down and in threes. The two-ply running threads are red, blue, brown and off-white wool arranged in five blocks along the side edges and twined into the wefts. The red wool pompoms are twined into both the warps and the wefts. The fringes are alternating groups of brown and red down the sides and groups of red, off-white and brown along the bottom. The wool threads forming the fringes are inserted vertically. There are four cotton tapes sewn onto the side edges, but no ties.

The cloak is breaking in several places and has been darned, especially at the shoulder. The black-dyed New Zealand flax is very fragile. The wool running threads are broken in places.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wool Textile; Fibre Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Fibre Textile Cotton Tape; Twined, dyed; Dye
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Donor unknown
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    140.0 x 1.0 x 130.0 cm
Object view = Humanities
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