prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM0001344795179Cloak, of flax, from New Zealand, from the Forster collection (Forster 103?; 1886.1.1132)

The body of the cloak is made from muka twined in whatu aho rua technique (double-pair weft-twining), apart from the 100th aho row, which is in whatu aho patahi (single-pair weft-twining). The cloak was worn as a paepaeroa, with the aho rows vertical. There are 7 whenu warps per cm with a 6-7 mm spacing between each aho weft row. The cloak was started with a 'thrum commencement' (see page 88 of 'Whatu: The Enclosing Threads', by Margery Blackman, in Whatu Kākahu / Māori Cloaks, edited by Awhina Tamarapa (Wellington: Te Papa Press, 2011), pp. 75-93). Because of the way that the red woollen thread is woven into the cloak, it is possible to tell that construction began at the edge furthest from the wool insertion. Shaping rows, aho poka, are present. There are two clear wedge inserts present: one near the side furthest from the commencement (1240 mm from this edge) and one near the centre (790 mm from the commencement edge). A third set of aho poka rows are present ,which do not form a clear insert - these are approximately 40 mm from the commencement. The bottom of the cloak (the left edge as constructed) is finished with a twisted three-ply braid of dyed muka. Each ply in turn is held by a successive aho row, so that each ply is attached to the cloak every third row. The muka used to make the cord is natural in colour, and also dyed black and brown, giving a variegated effect. The top of the cloak (the right side as constructed) is finished with a fine plaited border made of dyed muka. In some areas the colours are mixed, so that plies of black, brown, and naturally coloured muka produce a variegated effect to the plaited edge. Tags of dog skin are attached to the upper corners of the cloak. The dog skin strips are approximately 24 cm in length, and are folded in half and tied to the cloak with a length of plied muka cord. The cord is threaded through the body of the cloak, a single length being used to hold all the strips in place.


PRM0001334535179Detail of shaping rows
PRM0001334475179Detail of red woollen thread
PRM0001334505179Detail of plaited border
PRM0001334495179Detail of three-ply cord border
PRM0001334525179Detail of attachment of dogskin tags
PRM0001334465179Ashmolean labels