Korowai Maori Cloak
A flax cloak decorated with twisted wool black chord tags of the Korowai class of the New Zealand Maori.
As the Maori people of New Zealand reside in a cool climate, their cloaks, while highly decorative and providing lots of clues about the wearer identity, worth and prestige, they are also basically utilitarian, providing warmth by insulating the body with wool, feathers, flax or sometimes a combination of all three.
The origin of the Maoris is from other northern Pacific islands, so their garments tend to be similar. However mulberry, bananas, and pineapple are not indigenous, so the bark-cloth garments of other parts of Polynesia were replaced by heavy cloaks made from New Zealand flax. Wool was added in the middle of the 19th century when sheep were imported by the European settlers, and the Maoris became deft in incorporating wool in their weaving technique
Provenance: collected by Dr. John Rabe in 1887.
Circa: 19th century, collected in 1887
Origin: New Zealand
Dimensions: 42" X 42"
Inventory number: TX4779