What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Cloak made of skin (rhea), feather.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Exhibition history


    1997, London, Museum of Mankind, 'Patagonia: The Uttermost End of the Earth'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    1 October 1997

    Treatment proposal

    Clean feathers. Remove folds and creases. Repair skin. Leave threads intact.


    The whole of the object was dirty, notably the feathers, with areas of more intense dirt. Moth remains in places. The white feathers at the edges had turned grey. The back of the object required repairs since the skin had holes and was cracked and torn in different areas. There were major and minor distortions; lines where the cloak had been folded, and creases and folds elsewhere, especially near tears and breaks. In some areas feather shafts were loose and poking through the back. There were loose stitching threads around the perimeter of the cloak.

    Treatment details

    Back of cloak cleaned with a Wishab sponge (vulcanized latex,filler) gently manipulated over the soiled surfaces. Residue was vacuum cleaned away. When cleaning was finished,the object was relaxed by humidifying above a layer of Goretex. The Goretex was dampened on the felted surface and allowed to humidify under plastic sheeting. The Goretex was then removed and the cloak aligned and weighted. Allowed to dry. Repairs were then carried out on the back of the object. After experimentation with other backing materials (non-woven polyester), dyed Japanese kozo paper and 10% Mowilith 50 (polyvinyl acetate) in acetone as adhesive were used to secure the loose shafts of the feathers from the back and to support other tears as necessary. The ultrasonic humidifier was used for local crease removal. Once all repairs were carried out to the back, the feathers were cleaned. Applied Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) to each feather with a sable brush, removing dirty solvent with blotting paper. Dried, preening in a stream of cool air to fluff up. Only the most discoloured areas were cleaned, there being insufficient time available for complete cleaning.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


There is no image of this object, or there may be copyright restrictions

Image service:

Request new photography



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: ESA11327

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help