prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011526Headdress, uhikana, of coconut fibre, mother-of-pearl, turtle shell, feathers, from the Marquesas Islands; part of the Forster collection (Forster 134; 1886.1.1340)

Headdress, uhikana. The band is made from coconut fibre; the ties are formed from plaited coconut fibre, while the central band is made from seven strands of coconut fibre bound with very finely plaited coconut fibre cord. Two pearlshell discs (uhi) are attached to the band directly using cord made from plant fibre threaded through two holes drilled in each shell. Discs of perforated turtle shell are attached to the pearlshell discs, tied with plant fibre through the centre of the shell to the headband below. In the centre of each turtle shell disc is a smaller circle of pearlshell, and a second disc of carved turtle shell, held by the same plant fibre tie. The design carved into the larger turtle shell discs is dominated by four ipu, or container, motifs that surround the central discs. The feathers have been bound into seven bundles, each consisting of between five and twelve feathers. The shafts of the feathers are bound to a strip of cane using relatively unprocessed plant material, and the cane has been lashed to the headband using plant fibre cord. This arrangement gives stability and rigidity to the feather bundles


  PRM0001296685179Back of headdress
PRM0001296695179Back of headdress-detail
PRM0001296665179Detail of carved turtleshell
PRM0001297665179Ashmolean labels