prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000122639Bucket, of wood, coconut fibre, and shell, etc., from Tonga; part of the Forster collection (Forster 87; 1886.1.1329)

The bucket is constructed with a hollow wooden core, i.e. bucket, with an outer covering of coconut fibre basketry. The basketry is of the kato mosi kaka type and made from both dyed and undyed coconut fibres. The pattern is a series of triangles, often three to four, which meet at their points. The form represents two birds flying together and metaphorically represents a high-born person whose parents are of equally high standing. The way this pattern is placed and designed appears to change from basket to basket. On the bucket, the bottom has been woven in a double spiral pattern. On the body of the basket the pattern takes the form of 6 columns of triangles each, 12 triangles high (the triangles are all right triangles and are stacked to form rectangles). There are 6 of these rectangles that make up the column. The triangles alter in colour, brown to black, to form the pattern described above. The wooden vessel has been made from a single piece of wood. Chisel marks are seen on the interior of the piece and the vessel is 3-4 mm thick. At the bottom of the bucket, between the vessel and the basket, there is a piece of white and brown patterned bark cloth. The basket has been woven using twining patterns, a regular twist on the bottom of the basket and an alternating or countered twist on the body of the piece. The basket component has 4 warps per cm throughout the basket; this means warps have been added to the basket to keep the count the same as the object grows. The majority of these additions are seen on the bottom and lowermost sections of the basket and are identifiable by the knot that keeps the new warp in place. The body of the basket has an average of 26 wefts per cm and on the bottom 22 wefts per cm. Beads are used to separate the triangles, and decorate the object. The beads on average measure 2 mm in height. On the lowermost row, horizontal lines of beads cut through 5 of the 6 black triangles. The next two rows as well as the single black triangle at the bottom of the basket have only a single row of beads cutting through. The final top three rows have two rows of beads horizontally through the black triangles. The beads are used individually throughout the piece though there are some areas where they have been doubled. A few brown beads are seen throughout the bead work on the bucket, most are located on the lower third of the basket though there area few that are seen near the top of the object as well. These beads are most likely made from coconut shell. Four small holes have been drilled through the wooden vessel along the lip. These run along the back and two the left side of the bucket. A fifth may have been obscured due to animal damage on the right side of the piece. Two sets of two holes are seen at either side of the basket. These have been used to lash the basket to the wooden vessel during an earlier treatment


  PRM000095325Bucket, side 1
PRM000095326Bucket, side 2
PRM000095327Bucket, side 3
PRM000095328Bucket, side 4
PRM000095329Base of bucket
PRM0001297535179Ashmolean label
PRM0001297545179Ashmolean label