Comb

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
40501
Item name
Comb 
Category
Bodywear
 
Indigenous name
kafa gwaroa 
Maker
Unrecorded  
Associated cultural group
kwaio 
Place
Pacific > Solomon Islands > Malaita Province > Malaita Island > Kwaio
Map
Collector
Mrs Jean and Mr Russell Herbert 
Acquisition date
September 02, 2011 
Acquisition method
Donated by Mrs Jean Herbert 
Raw material
sticks, coconut fibre, orchid vine, plant dye
Dimensions
H: W: 50 mm L: 170 mm D: Circum:

Description

Hair comb made with sticks splayed at one end; bound at centre with plant fibre to a single crossbar; handle splits into two sections; red and yellow plant fibre pattern woven on handle.

Research notes

One of three kafa gwaroa collected together in 1984 (see 40502 and 40503).

Kafa Gwaroa or patterned comb are worn in the hair by men. The comb is made with sticks bound by coconut thread and the pattern is made with woven yellow orchid ('adi) and red-stained coconut cuticle (taketake niu). Patterns were many and varied including the diamond representing a type of seed, the zigzag representing fruit bats, and stars [Burt, Akin & Kwa’ioloa 2009].

These combs with their finely woven orchid vine are typical of the Kwaio aesthetic for things small, petite and detailed. Usually the older orchid combs were made with two pieces of fern wood for the crossbar; more recent combs have only one [D Akin 2013, pers. Comm., 5 September].

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