About this object

A rectangular cloak (korowai) made from New Zealand flax with black-dyed tassels forming fringes on all edges, and some at intervals on the main section of the cloak. The side and bottom edges are decorated with running threads of coloured wool and the main section of the cloak has the remains of pompoms.

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 with folded over warps at the neck edge and four two-ply black-dyed threads giving a rolled decorative effect. The fringe at the neck is formed by black tassels inserted into single-pair twining wefts, the right way up. The fringe at the bottom has tassels inserted into single-pair twining wefts upside down. There are also two lines of tassels down each side. All tassels are two-ply, rolled and dyed black, and each is inserted into the twined weft in two places. The two-ply warps down the side edges skip alternate wefts. There are eight warps (whenu) per cm and the wefts (aho) are 13mm apart. There are seven grouped extra wefts (aho poka) on each side of the shoulder area and nine on each side at the hip to provide shaping.

There are the remains of red and blue wool pompoms (in threes) on the main section of cloak and running threads of red and blue wool on the bottom and top edges. Some wool has broken off and the black-dyed New Zealand flax is very fragile.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1894 before
  • Materials
    Fibre Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Wool Textile; Dye; Twined, dyed
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    158.0 x 1.0 x 154.0 cm
  • Note
    Comments: The pompoms arranged in threes is very unusual, and other ngore [pompoms] in the neck area are different. It may have been begun by one weaver and finished by another? (Maureen Lander, 7 June 2006). Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum from Samuel Culley in 1894. Note from
  • Related people
    Samuel Culley ( Previous owner); Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

    Owned from: 1894
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1956
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Samuel Culley

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1894
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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