About this object

A cape (pihepihe) made from New Zealand Flax fibre with a fringe of partly stripped and dyed cylindrical leaf strips, in black and pale yellow, and a deep plait along the neck edge.

This garment was made by finger-weaving or twining without the use of a loom. The techniques used are single-pair and double-pair twining, which forms the wefts (aho). This began at the bottom edge of the backing section and finished with two rows of double-pair twining (using three, four or five warps together) at the neck edge. There are four warps (whenu) per cm, and the wefts are 25mm apart.

The backing section is about 40cms long, with two sets of two rows of wefts closer together at the side edges to provide shaping. The fringe is formed of overlapping tassels which are different lengths, and the tassels are the ends of extra warp threads, inserted in pairs in alternate wefts. The neck edge plait has an extension at one end which is bent and plaited back in. Rolled fibre cords at each end form ties.

Damaged, with parts of some tassels broken off in groups. The black-dyed areas are very fragile.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    1894 before
  • Materials
    Yarn Flax (NZ) (Phormium sp); Dye; Technique: Twined, plaited, dyed
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    94.0 x 1.0 x 58.0 cm
  • Note
    Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum from Samuel Culley in 1894.
  • 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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