helmet / armour
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Helmet (armour) made of porcupine fish skin, coconut fibre (coir), vegetable fibre and human hair. The internal structure is of a coiled coir helmet to which the expanded body of a porcupine fish has been securely attached using vegetable fibre. Ear guards are cut from the fish's body and multiple two-ply twisted coir ties are used for fastening. Pieces of vegetable fibre and human hair line the front of the helmet. A large, white cowrie shell is attached to one of the coir cords and is secured using a section of European striped cloth.
- Found/Acquired: Kiribati
- Height: 33 centimetres
- Circumference: 62 centimetres
Register slip reads: Purchased 21 June 1904 [Admr. Davis] per Gerrard Collected by Adm. Davis during the cruise of HMS Royalist 1890-93. Davis published his collection of 700 items made as captain of the Royalist in a LIST OF ETHNOGRAPHICAL OBJECTS (BM library shelfmark: MUS/26b-9-6), which bears the handwritten note "BM had first pick - part purchased by Umlauff. Hamburg" Edward Gerrard sold the collection on his behalf.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
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Object reference number: EOC10654
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