prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM0001322985179Mat, pe′ue, of plant fibre, from the Society Islands (probably Tahiti); part of the Forster collection (Forster 21; 1886.1.1171)

The mat is plaited in a one over, one under pattern using long flat plant fibres (Hibiscus?) at 2-3 strips per cm. The mat is not square and it gets longer at one end and wider at the other, suggesting the directionality of the construction. There is fringe on all four sides. Subtle changes in the colour of the plant material may indicate the use of the opposite side of the leaf. Square knot joins as well as woven joins in the fibre strips are seen on the mat. The mat appears to have been made from the back as the square knot joins are visible on the surface and none is seen on the reverse. These do not appear to co-ordinate with any of the visible ends or joins on the front side of the mat. The fringe is formed from the ends of the strips used to make the mat, split to form finer fibres. The edges have been finished by weaving the ends back into the mat and then out again, forming a 3-layered weave along the edge, which is about 4 rows deep or approx. 2 cm in width


  PRM0001311915179Detail of plaited surface
PRM0001311895179Detail of fringe
PRM0001311905179Forster and Ashmolean labels