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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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


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  • Description

    Textile made of fibre (pandanus leaf): head mat for woman

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 220 centimetres
    • Width: 16 centimetres (of weaving)
    • Width: 160 centimetres (incl. fringes (approx))
  • Curator's comments

    This kind of textile is rolled and worn by women on their heads (with the split fringe at one end hanging over the forehead). Women in South Pentecost wear head mats, as do women from the Big Nambas area of Malakula. The stenciling style is a Pentecost style. People from Malakula had a regular trade with Pentecost. The textile certainly comes from either Malakula or Pentecost. The red dye was produced in Ambae, Maewo, Pentecost and possibly the Banks Islands. Othe islands in north central Vanuatu traded to these islands for this dye. (Jean Tarisesei, Vanuatu. Sept 09)


  • Bibliography

    • Bolton et al 2013 p.271, fig.216 bibliographic details
  • Acquisition name

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  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

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Textile made of fibre (pandanus leaf): head mat for woman



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Object reference number: EOC13931

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