Volume 50 1941 > Memoirs > No. 15 The Oldman collection of Polynesian artifacts, p 78-82
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Memoir No. 15
Supplement to the Journal of the Polynesian Society.

(The Maori section is already published, Memoir No. 14.)


Pages 78-81

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302 Household-goddess (aumakua) of hard dark-red wood very-finely carved and polished. The standing figure has a curious tall head-dress, large protruding eyes and a distinctly crescent-shaped mouth. The base is circular in section and cut into a series of cones. Length, 12¾ins.; height of figure, 5¼ins. Hawaii.

This figure may represent the goddess Pele; the crescent-shaped mouth might indicate the crater of Kilauea which is of this form.

315 Household-god (aumakua) of hard heavy intensely black wood. The figure is wearing a crested helmet and the eyes are inlaid with pearl-shell. The base is plain, oval in section and tapers to a point. Highly polished, signs of weathering on the back. Length, 19¼ins.; height of figure, 7⅝ins. Hawaii.

298 Printing-stamp (ohekapapala) of bamboo, used for printing designs in colour on tapa-cloth. Stained with black pigment. Length, 14¼ins.; pattern, 2¾ins. by ¼in. wide. Hawaii. Original label attached, “For Lady Franklin from Dr. Wetmore, Used in making Tapa. 1861.”


295a Tapa-beater (hohoa) of heavy nearly black wood, circular in section, carved with a series of parallel lines or grooves varying from sixteen to nine to the inch. Length, 13ins.; diameter, 2ins. Hilo island, Hawaii.

Original label attached, “For Miss .. acroft from Dr. Wetmore, Hilo, Hawaii, S.I. Used in making Tapa, 1861.”

295b Tapa-beater (ie kuku) heavy dark-red wood, square in section, three of the faces have fine parallel lines or grooves (hoopai), the fourth has crossed lines at right angles (hoopai hulua). Length, 14½ins.; width, 1⅞ins. Hawaii. Given to Lady Franklin while in Hawaii, 1861.

295c Tapa-beater (ie kuku), heavy nearly black wood, two of the faces have fine parallel lines, the third has a series of parallel undulating lines (koeau), and the fourth has undulating lines separated by straight lines (puili). Length, 15ins.; width, 2ins. Hawaii.

Given to Lady Franklin on her visit to Hawaii in 1861.

295d Tapa-beater (ie kuku), black wood finely finished, all four faces have different patterns. Small size. Length, 13¾ins.; width, 1in. Hilo, Hawaii.

Original label attached, “A little souvenir for Lady Franklin from Dr. Wetmore, Hilo, Hawaii, S.I. Used in making Tapa.”

297 Nine small specimens of Hawaiian tapa and one from Tahiti, brought back by Captain Vancouver. Given by Dr. Gibson to the York Museum in 1824.

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303 Part of seat or stool on which a god was mounted. Hard brown wood, upper surface deeply carved, much worn and polished. Size, 14ins. by 7ins.; thickness, 1⅝ins. Original label attached, “Part of seat of an old Hawaiian Idol, Haualei Kauai, June 10th 1861.” (Lady Franklin.) Haualei Kauai, Hawaii.


295e Tapa-beater (hohoa), heavy dark-red wood, nearly circular in section, surface partly cut with parallel grooves. Length, 14½ins.; diameter, 2ins. Hawaii.

Presented to York Museum in 1824 by Dr. Gibson; probably a “Vancouver” relic. See Plate 132, No. 297.

295f Tapa-beater (ie kuku), heavy dark wood, square in section, two of the faces are carved with small parallel lines, thirteen to the inch, (hoopai); the third has large grooves, three and a half to the inch (pepehi), the fourth face has parallel grooves at right angles forming squares (pepehi hulua). Surface is much weathered. Length, 16ins.; width, 1⅝ins. Hawaii.

295g Tapa-beater (ie kuku), light brown hard wood, each face has a different pattern; 1, fine grooves seventeen and a half to the inch (hoopai). 2, large grooves three to the inch (pepehi). 3, large grooves at right angles making squares, holes in centre of each (pepehi hulua pupu). 4, originally this had fine grooves but these have been partly cut down and rough grooves at right angles carved over it. Length, 16⅝ins.; width, 1½ins. Hawaii.

410b Tapa-beater, very heavy dark-red wood, the four faces finely carved with parallel grooves, twenty-eight, twenty-six, eighteen and ten to the inch. The end is carved in relief with two angled patterns, probably for printing-patterns. Length, 16⅛ins.; width, 1⅝ins. Tahiti.

295h Tapa-beater, very heavy dark wood, slightly expanding towards the end, the four faces are grooved with twenty-eight, eighteen, eleven and six lines to the inch. Length, 14½ins.; width, 1½ins. expanding to 1⅝ins. Tahiti.

295i Tapa-beater, heavy brown wood, the four faces are grooved with twenty, eighteen, nine and two and a half lines to the inch respectively. The end of handle is carved with two raised crescent-shaped projections, possibly used for printing designs on tapa. Length, 15½ins.; width, 1½ins. Rarotonga.

The last three beaters have been included for comparison with Hawaiian specimens.

296c Beater of close-grained stone used for grinding kukui nuts for oil to burn and for mixing with colour for paints. Height, 5½ins.; diameter, 2⅝ins. Hawaii.

Collected by Lady Franklin in Hawaii, 1861.

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296b Poi-pounder, ring form, black porous stone. Height, 5½ins; width, 5ins. Kauai island, Hawaii.

296a Axe, hard close-grained black stone, highly finished and polished. Length, 6¾ins.; across edge, 2¼ins.; thickness, ½in. Old label attached, “Old stone axe for hollowing out canoes—when in use mounted like an adze.” Hawaii.


279 Water-bottle (huewai), large gourd ornamented all over with stained designs made with parallel lines with notches along one side, possibly representing the “shark teeth” (niho-mano) design. Height, 18ins.; diameter, 11ins. Niihau island, Hawaii. Collected by Admiral Sir John Erskine, H.M.S. Havana, 1850.

294 Water-bottle (huewai) ornamented with stained designs, a large Maltese cross at bottom. Height, 13¼ins.; diameter, 9ins. Hawaii.

304c Bowl made of a coconut with a gourd cover in a fine twisted sinnet net carrier. Contains specimens of lava, sulphur, etc., gathered personally by Lady Franklin; a piece of paper written on by her is inside, “Specimen of Lava &c. picked up by our-selves, Kilauea' May 1861.” Diameter, 6ins. Hawaii.

304d Food-bowl made of a gourd with very thick walls, roughly incised border. Diameter, 6¼ins. Hawaii.

Collected by Lady Franklin 1861.

PLATE 135.

318 Fish-hook, cut from one piece of whale bone, well finished and polished. Length, 6⅛ins.; width, 3¼ins. Hawaii.

317a Fish-hook (makau papaua), pearl-shell, very massive, well finished. Length, 2ins.; width, 1¾ins. Hawaii.

317b Fish-hook (makau papaua), similar but not so thick, short twisted fibre cord (kaa) attached. Length, 1¾ins.; width, 1⅞ins. Hawaii.

319a Fish-hook cut from a piece of human bone, cord attached. Length, 2⅛ins.; width, ⅞in. Hawaii.

319b Fish-hook, human bone, double barbs, short cord attached, very finely finished. Length, 1½ins.; width, ⅞in. Hawaii.

319c Fish-hook, similar but with a single barb, cord attached. Length, 2¼ins.; width, 1in. Hawaii.

The above three specimens were collected by George Bennet in 1823. Ex. Collection of the Duke of Leeds, Hornby Castle.

320a Fish-hook made from two pieces of close-grained bone bound together with fibre; the butted joint is strengthened on each side with two slips of wood inserted beneath the binding. The

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cord (kaa) is partly seized with fine cord. Length, 3⅝ins.; width, 1½ins. Hawaii.

320b Fish-hook, similar to No. 320a. The seizing on the cord is very finely done. Length, 3⅛ins.; width, 1⅜ins. Hawaii.

320c Fish-hook, similar to Nos, 320a and b. No cord. Finely finished. Length, 3⅝ins.; width, 1½ins. Hawaii.

The above three specimens were brought back by Vancouver and given to York Museum by Dr. Gibson in 1824.

320d Fish-hook similar to No. 320a, no cord. Length, 4¾ins.; width, 1⅝ins. Hawaii.

320e Fish-hook similar to No. 320a, no cord. Length, 4ins,; width, 1½ins. Hawaii.

320f Fish-hook, similar form to No. 320a but the binding for lashing the two parts together is missing; two projecting lugs to give greater security to the binding. Length, 3⅜ins.; width, 1¼ins. Hawaii.

320g Back of a fish-hook showing the more usual form of housing for the binding. Length, 3½ins. Hawaii.

The above four specimens were collected by George Bennet in 1823. Ex. Collection of the Duke of Leeds, Hornby Castle.

293 Wrist-ornament of whale-tooth ivory, pierced with holes at back for the cord. See Plate 124 for description. Hawaii.


304a Mat (moena pawehe) manufactured from the grass called makaloa (Cyperus laevigatus), the red woven-in designs are made from the lower portion of the stem; design does not show on the back of the mat. Length, 124ins.; width, 82ins. Niihau island, Hawaii.

Given to Lady Franklin in 1861, label attached: “Matting made in the Island of Nihau, Hawaiian Islands.”

304b Mat (moena pawehe), similar to the above specimen, different red pattern. Length, 119ins.; width, 78ins. Niihau island, Hawaii.