In Te Papa's Pacific Cultures collection, there are around 200 combs from Tonga, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Each comb has its own individual style and design, and were for the most part, used as adornment pieces. For example, Solomon Island combs which comprise of wooden points, and small shell pieces cut from nautilus shells that have been set into black resin, made from crushed parinarium paste, were associated with adolescent boys during an initiation ceremony into the bonito cult.
Some photographs from the 19th century depict combs being worn as part of ceremonial attire.
See some examples of Pacific combs below, or browse through all of Te Papa's Pacific combs