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Apron ta’ovala

Apron ta’ovala

Place: Tonga
Category: Clothing

plant fibre, Tonga, l. 27, w. 34 cm, Inv. Oz 147

Humphrey No. Ill: ‘Part of another [apron], made of exceeding fine Netting, partly light brown, and partly dark brown, so wrought as to form stripes & chequers, with rows and spots of scarlet feathers intermixed, and is a very neat performance, done and worn by the Women of the Friendly Isles.’

The net-like hand-woven fabric consists of a plant material and features brown and blackish-brown patterns (chequered and lines). All four edges are straight and closed. The remains of embellishment with small red feathers is recognisable.

The purpose of this rare piece is unclear. It may have been a cloth for women worn on the hips. A very similar fabric may be found in the Berne Museum (Kaeppler 1978b: 38f.). Inken Köhler, Ulrike Rehr, Gundolf Krüger


Kaeppler, Adrienne L, Cook Voyage Artifacts in Leningrad, Berne and Florence Museums, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978b.

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