prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011458Head ornament, tapi uma, of coconut fibre, from the Marquesas Islands; part of the Forster collection (Forster 129; 1886.1.1266)

Head ornament made from three coconut fibre cords. These converge at each end to form a plait, which forms the ties. Barkcloth is also incorporated into the ties. The three coconut fibre cords have shorter cords wrapped around them to form the structure of the headdress. These secondary cords are lengths of plaited coconut fibre with a loop at each end. The loop on the end that is uppermost in the headdress, and therefore more visible, is formed by folding the plaited coconut fibres over and incorporating the ends back into the plait, producing a neat loop. The loop at the other end, hidden within the headdress structure, is made by bending the end of the cord back on itself and binding the loop with coconut fibre. Three of these secondary cords are bent around the primary cord, and bound as a group near the primary cord with a length of coconut fibre, so that the looped ends of the smaller cords project outwards. Secondary cords are not wrapped around the whole length of the middle primary cord, so that at each end the headdress is four layers deep, and 6 layers deep in the middle. The secondary cords increase in length from the top to the bottom of the headdress, giving it its curved shape


  PRM0001297345179Ashmolean label