This book brings together artists, curators, researchers and conservators to consider the significance of coconut fibre armour from the islands of Kiribati. Taking as its focus the armour found in museum collections, it investigates the historical context that led to these unique artefacts leaving the Pacific and entering the orbit of British collectors and institutions, as well the legacies of those practices in the present.
As well as exploring the historical milieux surrounding its collection, the book includes essays from expert conservators that discuss the challenges of caring for coconut fibre armour. Other contributions include case studies focusing on the construction and variety of the armour and helmets, and the findings of a comprehensive survey which has tracked down and documented every piece of Kiribati armour held in UK museum collections. Finally, the book considers the significance of coconut fibre armour in the present, with particular reference to the work of a group of I-Kiribati artists whose creativity and innovative research has led to the production of a contemporary suit of armour inspired by the armour of the past.
List of figures
1. Introduction: Fighting Fibres
2. Adventures in Collecting: A Survey of Coconut Fibre Armour in UK Museums
3. Te Tanga: Contextualising the Kiribati Cuirass
4. Protection, Status or Intimidation? A Typology of Kiribati Helmets in UK Collections
5. `Bob, a native of Tarawa, Kingsmill Group, Aged 18`
6. Conserving Kiribati Armour
7. Weapons from Kiribati
Alison Clark and Rhian Ward
8. The Fibres That Connect Us: An Interview
9. Collector Biographies
Kate Adams, Polly Bence, Alison Clark and Geoff Rubenstein
Taal / Language : English