Patterned plaited basket, kete whakairo, plaited from strips of flax leaf 2–3 mm wide, twilled, dextrals undyed, sinistrals dyed black and laid so that underside of leaf strip is exposed; bottom closed with fine join after completion. Complex pattern of multiple vertical bands, with horizontal band at rim and bottom. There are three braids around rim, laid on top of one another; series of twelve loops is caught up at 8 cm intervals and taken into middle one of three braids, which form rim finish; they travel within braid for 4 cm and then emerge for another loop. Looped cord is made from two-ply loosely rolled flax-fibre cords, which are made into three-strand braid. Loops were used to lace basket closed so that, when full, it could be conveniently carried, perhaps in carrying strap, or put into storage; loose three-strand braid attached to top of basket used to lace it closed.
- Found/Acquired: New Zealand
- (Oceania,Polynesia,New Zealand)
- Width: 81.5 centimetres
Original Kew Gardens label, printed: "KETE" or BASKET made by the / Maoris of New Zealand from the LEAVES / of / Phormium tenax Forst. / 223-1851. W. Colenso, Esq., F.R.S. Handwritten labels: Ornamental basket made of / leaves of Phormium tenax. These / are only used by Chiefs, and by / them only occasionally, to carry / their clothes etc in. Native name / Kete. Rev. W. Colenso / No 3936 223.1851 No. 3936 / A N Zealand ornamental / Basket, made of / Phormium tenax.
Kew register transcript: ‘No. 3936 An ornamental basket [as on label] They are now getting very scarce ….’ (Eth.Doc.589).
References: Pendergrast 1996: 122.Comments: Nineteenth century (MP).
References: Pendergrast 1996: 122.
Not on display
1998 27 Jun-1 Nov, London, BM, Maori
1999 3 Mar-20 Jun, BM Room 35, Creative Solutions: Conservation of the Ethnographic Collections
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- 223-1851 (Royal Botanic Gardens accession number)
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Object reference number: EOC22558
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