prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011647Ornament, of human teeth, from New Zealand; part of the Forster collection (Forster 126; 1886.1.1586)

Ornament consisting of twenty-one human teeth, the roots of which have been drilled and strung on a cord made from New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax). There are eleven incisors and ten premolars (bicuspids); they have been strung as they would appear in the mouth, i.e. incisors in the middle. The ornament has been reinforced with pieces of plant stem or aerial root, and wound with black-dyed flax fibre, which has the appearance of human hair. The surface of the root and flax is extensively covered in resinous material. Traces of red ochre are present on the surface of the bindings, visible on microscopic examination


  PRMCON001304Ornament of human teeth (with scale)
PRM0001296045179Detail of drilled tooth
PRM0001296055179Detail of red ochre on cord
PRM0001352505179Electron microscope image of dark fibre from cord
PRM0001352575179Electron microscope image of fibre from cord
PRM0001352615179Electron microscope image of fibre from cord
PRM0001352645179Electron microscope image of fibre from cord
PRM0001300135179Ashmolean label