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Tassels of hair

Tassels of hair

Place: Tahiti & Society Islands
Category: Jewellery & adornment

dog hair, coconut fibre, Tahiti and the Society Islands, l. 10–15 cm, Inv. Oz 434

Forster Register C.I 3: ‘dog’s hair belonging to the New Zealand costume’

Object Oz. 432 consists of twenty-two tassels lined up in a row and secured by an eye on to a leaf rib of the coconut palm, niu or ha’ari (Cocos nucifera).

The single, sometimes incomplete tassels are formed by small sticks, very tightly wrapped both lengthwise and crosswise with fine coconut fibre threads. Tassels of whitish-grey dog’s hair up to 4 cm long protrude from these wrappings. Object Oz 433 has only thirteen with only incompletely preserved tufts of dog’s hair. Object Oz 434 has twenty-two tassels which, in contrast to the two examples mentioned above, are not lined up or bundled together on small sticks, but instead on three strings made of light-brown, medium-brown and black plant fibres. The dog’s hair tassels, up to 10 cm long or more and quite thick, are in this object of a golden brown colour. The above-mentioned provenance, ‘New Zealand,’ is incorrect for all three objects. The tassels of hair are undoubtedly components of the Tahitian gorget taumi (cf. Oz 426, Oz 431 and Hanover 1850 (?), No.1). Gundolf Krüger

Related artefacts

Tassels of hair, Inv. Oz 432
Tassels of hair, Inv. Oz 433