- Registration number
- Item name
- Indigenous name
- kafa gwaroa
- Associated cultural group
- Pacific > Solomon Islands > Malaita Province > Malaita Island > Kwaio
- 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
- H: W: 50 mm L: 170 mm D: Circum:
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.
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].