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helmet / armour

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Oc1887,0201.54

  • Description

    Helmet (armour) 'te barantauti' made of porcupine fish skin, coconut fibre (coir), vegetable fibre and human hair. The body of a porcupine fish has been expanded and made into a helmet. Ear guards are cut from the fish's body and a two-ply twisted coir tie is used for fastening. Pieces of vegetable fibre and human hair line the front of the helmet.

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  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 19thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 37.5 centimetres
    • Width: 31 centimetres
    • Depth: 23 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Information from Pacific Art in Detail: Kiribati warriors were known for their ferocity. They also had the most fully developed armour in the Pacific. In Kiribati, wars were often fought over an insult, or over territory.

  • Bibliography

    • Newell 2011 pp.114-115 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    1983–1986 16 Dec-29 Jun, London, BM, Museum of Mankind, Pattern of islands: Micronesia yesterday and today

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1887

  • Acquisition notes

    Registration slip reads: Presented by Harry J. Veitch Esq. 1887 Harry Veitch, head of the horticultural business James Veitch & Sons of Chelsea, gave artefacts to the British Museum deriving from the company's plant collectors in various parts of the world. The Solomon Islands artefacts he gave in 1887 were collected by his brother John Gould Veitch as botanist on the voyage of HMS Curacoa to the Solomons in 1865 (Waite 1987:11).

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Oc1887,0201.54

Helmet made of fish skin, fish tail, fibre.

Helmet made of fish skin, fish tail, fibre.

Image description

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Object reference number: EOC6214

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