prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011929Belt, tatua, of plant fibre, from New Zealand; part of the Banks collection (1886.21.4)

For the purposes of this description the belt has been oriented with the fold at the bottom of the belt. Front and back were determined by the presence of three dark brown stains on the front right side. The belt is a plaited band of leaf strips that has been folded in half with the long ends of the flax tucked into the interior of the belt. The plaiting is an example of raranga pūputu or close plaiting. The plaiting has been done in a 2,2 twill pattern and uses only undyed plant fibre. On the interior of the belt one side has a number of the long fibres knotted just before the plaiting begins, just above these knots runs a chain stitch of flax (?) thread that connects the long ends together. This chain has been cut or broken in numerous areas, leaving a number of raw threads exposed. It is possible that some of the threads that are seen were used to tie the belt closed; however, there is little evidence of this visible on the opposite side of the belt. The ties for this belt differ from side to side. The right side tie uses 5, 5(?)-stranded plaits spaced along the edge of the belt. These plaits come together in a 3-strand plait and then transition into a 2-strand ply until the end is knotted off. The tie on the left side has 6 of the 5-strand plaits and follows the same transitional pattern


  PRM0001312235179Detail of plaited structure
PRM0001312245179Detail of inside belt
PRM0001312255179Detail of commencement of tie
PRM0001312265179Detail of tie
PRM0001312275179Detail of tie