prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM0001345915179Cloak, kaitaka, of flax, dog hair, dog skin, and plant fibre, from New Zealand; part of the Banks collection (1886.21.20)

The kaupapa (body) of the kaitaka is muka (prepared New Zealand flax fibre), twined in whato ahu rua technique (two-pair weft-twining). The whenu warps measure 6 per cm, with 11-25 mm gaps between each aho weft; the aho are closer together at the top and bottom of the cloak. The muka fibre is mostly untwisted, apart from in the last four whenu warps nearest the plaited edge, where the fibres are tightly twisted together, and several tightly twisted cords in many of the whenu warps. The commencement is at the top of the cloak. A cord of twisted natural and dark brown dyed muka fibre has been incorporated into what appears to be a selvage commencement, where the ends of the whenu warps are bent over and secured by the aho. Two rows of close-packed two-pair weft-twining rows are present beyond the cord edge. Shaping rows, aho poka, are present in the construction of the cloak. Aho rows 14, 24, 36, 49 and 50 are short rows. There is a taniko border at the bottom of the cloak, which begins after three rows of close-packed two-pair weft twining. The border is 90 mm wide, measured from the top of the patterned border to the bottom of the cloak. The taniko is black, dark brown, and natural coloured muka, measuring 9-10 whenu per cm. The taniko decoration is spilt into five panels, with additional designs at the edges. The outer and central panels have a geometric pattern based on diamonds, while the intermediate two panels are plain black, with an upper and lower border of triangles. A zig-zag motif is used as a terminating device at each end of the border. The geometric designs are worked in three colours, black, brown, and natural. Tags of dog skin, some without hair, are attached to the bottom of the taniko border with a cord of twisted muka fibre. The fibre is passed through the cloak, and the lengths of skin held in position with half-hitch knots. The left border of the cloak, seen as the cloak was woven from the top down, is made up of a flat ribbon plaited of brown and natural-coloured muka, worked to form a geometric design. This is attached to the cloak by every aho weft. The right border is formed from a three-ply cord of dyed and twisted muka fibre. Each ply is attached it the cloak in turn by an aho weft, meaning that each ply of the cord is attached every third aho row


  PRM0001345925179Back of cloak
PRM0001334845179Cloak, showing shaping rows
PRM0001334785179Detail of taniko border
PRM0001334855179Detail of taniko border and dogskin tags
PRM0001334815179Detail of plaited border
PRM0001334825179Detail of cord border
PRM0001334835179Detail of commencement edge