Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Helmet (mahiole) made of basketry, red, yellow and black feathers, and olona fibre.

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 18thC(late)-19thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 29 centimetres
    • Length: 13 inches (from, registration slip)
    • Width: 7.5 inches (of crest - from registration slip)
  • Curator's comments

    Registration slip information:
    Hawaiian Islands
    Helmet [MAHIOLE] of basketwork covered with feathers mounted on a network of olona fibre. The crest is of exceptional breadth and covered with yellow (oo) feathers, its sides are red with a central stripe of black and yellow. The body of the helmet is also red with a similar stripe & has yellow feathers.Description from bound volume of registration slips of Hawaiian artefacts, written by James Edge Partington(?) in the 19th century:
    Feather helmet (na mahiole). The framework is of close firm basket work to which the feathers are attached by olona fibre. The crest is broad & low, the upper surface is covered with yellow feathers (amakihi - Drepanis flava). The remainder of the helmet is covered with red, black & yellow feathers in alternate bands of varying widths.
    W. across crest 7 ½ “
    L. of helmet 13”Images inlcude 35mm photos taken by Ben Burt in 1968 before and after conservation.


  • Bibliography

    • Cox 1988 pp.36-41 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    1975 – 1985 12 Dec-23 Jun, London, BM, Museum of Mankind, Hawaii
    1990, London, National Maritime Museum

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquisition details unknown. In the collections of the British Museum pre 1900.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Oc????D6.107 (old CDMS no.)
Helmet made of basketry, feathers, fibre (olona).

Helmet made of basketry, feathers, fibre (olona).

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC70

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