prmlogo2Cook-Voyage Collections
at the Pitt Rivers Museum


PRM000011591Headdress, of feathers and plant material, from Rapa Nui (Easter Island); part of the Forster collection (Forster 130; 1886.1.1528)

Headdress, made from a continuous six band coil of plant material, possibly grass or rush, wound with a plant fibre, which may be hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceous). The coils are bound together at seven places around the diameter of the headdress. Bundles of split feathers, either chicken or frigate bird, are bound together with the same plant fibre, leaving enough of the quill free to be attached to the headdress, being bound to the core by the plant fibre binding. The feathers are very similar in appearance to those used on the feather cape of the Tahitian Mourner's costume (1886.1.1637 .4). There are approximately 140 bundles of feathers per turn of the coil, which results in a very dense, tight spacing. The feathers are graduated by size, the longest being at the front of the headdress, the shortest towards the back. Most of the feathers have been cut to size


  PRM0001294115179Detail of feather attachment
PRM0001299285179Ashmolean label