Head comb (Comb Hahao)

Production date
Pre 1967
Country
Solomon Islands
State/Province
Malaita
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Object Detail


Description
Head comb made of dark wood, with intricate woven detail of yellow orchid fibre and coconut palm fibres dyed red from the ‘geru’ root, or Morinda, an Indian mulberry. Comb has inbuilt 'stand' that body of the comb rests on when lying flat.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander comb
Measurements
L 206 x W 66 x D 8 mm
History and use
This head comb, called Comb Hahao (meaning: weaving), and the elaborate weaving technique used to create the object, is unique to the Kwaio people of Malaita, Solomon Islands. The head combs are made in the village, and traditionally worn for ceremonial occasions such as special festivals, and important feasts. They are still worn by men in the community today.

The materials used are yellow orchid fibres, with coconut palm fronds or other natural fibres dyed red from the ‘geru’ root, or Morinda, an Indian mulberry.

This object was part of a larger donation made to the Museum of Tropical Queensland in 2012, on behalf of the estate of Len and Catherine Lawler.
Registration number
E40864

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