Money mat (bwana)

Production date
1988
Country
Australia
State/Province
Queensland
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Object Detail


Description
Twill weave patterned mat with braided and fringed edges. Made from dyed and undyed leaves.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander mat
Maker
Measurements
Weight:330g
Length:1500mm
Width:1680mm
Media/Materials description
Pandanus Leaf
History and use
On Pentecost, Vanuatu, money mats, or bwana, are used for many purposes: as currency and exchange for goods, as a gift for visitors, at a wedding, or to wrap the deceased body of an important person. When not in use, the mat is folded and placed in a specially woven basket for this purpose.

Money mats are dyed by a neighbouring village that keeps it dyeing methods and materials secret. Dyeing takes place once annually.

This item is part of Alice Hunai’s collection of Vanuatu material culture, created in the 1980s.
Registration number
QE25609

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