Twill weave patterned mat with braided and fringed edges. Made from dyed and undyed leaves.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander mat
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.