prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011464Ornament, tahi poniu, of wood, seeds, etc., from the Marquesas Islands; part of the Forster collection (Forster 133; 1886.1.1269)

Breast ornament. Made from 17 sections of wood which fit closely together, although small wedge-shaped pieces have been added to fill larger gaps. The outer edge of the gorget has been shaped into 37 narrow rays. There is a suggestion that the wood is breadfruit. Each of the 17 sections is carved in one piece, and they are presumably joined with the same resin that has been used to embed the seeds of the Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius) on the upper and lower surfaces. A plant fibre cord (possibly hibiscus fibre) is tied through holes drilled in the end sections


  PRM000095281Breast ornament (with scale)
PRM000095282Reverse of breast ornament (with scale)
PRM000095283Detail of back
PRM0001297325179Ashmolean label
PRM0001297395179Ashmolean label
PRM0001297405179Ashmolean label