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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Cloak (kahu toi) made of toi leaf fibre dyed black.

  • Ethnic name

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 98 centimetres
    • Width: 125.5 centimetres
  • Exhibition history


    1998 27 June-7-1 Nov, London, BM, Maori

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    8 April 1996

    Treatment proposal

    Remove and bag loose fibres, vacuum if necessary and check and advise on mounting. .


    Generally sound except for some loose flax-threads (especially at the top, near the rim). The woven construction was creased.

    Treatment details

    Cleaned front and back using a soft brush and low powered vacuum suction. More dust was removed from the top surface using the airflow from a puffer. The cape, interleaved with acid-free tissue, was rolled onto a cylinder made out of Melinex (polyester) , stuffed with crumpled acid-free tissue. N.B. Loose tags were enclosed in a polythene bag and returned with the object.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


Cloak made of fibre (leaf).

Cloak made of fibre (leaf).

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC22624

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