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Object: Porcupine fish helmet

This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence

Title Porcupine fish helmet
Production Unknown, 1900s, Kiribati
Medium summary fish skin, plant fibre
Materials fish scale, plant fibre
Classification helmets
Dimensions Overall: 240mm (Height) x 250mm (Width) x 290mm (Depth)
Credit line Gift of Jennifer Orange, 1995
Registration number FE010482
This is a warrior's helmet, made from the dried skin of a porcupine fish (Diodon sp., probably Diodon hystrix), lined with plaited pandanus strips. The skin is oriented so that the tail forms a peak at the back and the two fins form wings on either side. The lining has been partly plaited to fit, like a rounded basket, but then cut and overlapped in three places so that it fits snugly. The base is edged with a roll of plant fibre which has been neatly sewn to the edge of the skin with a blanket stitch in fine twisted cord of light and dark fibres.

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