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: British Empire & Commonwealth
: Ceremonial skirt from Kitava, Trobriand Islands. Long skirt of brown fibres overlain with a layer of shorter red fibres. Thick waistband of wide strips of natural leaf fibre with layers of blue, red, green and yellow grass fibres. Very thick roll on the inside and cord ties at each end. Short red skirts worn by young unmarried women. Longer skirts worn by older women. Worn low on the hips. Fibres made from banana leaf, scraped and dried and split. Women's work to gather, process leaves and make skirts. Banana leaf bundles used in funeral ceremonies and grass skirts made with banana leaf both called 'doba'. Pentecostalism in the islands is leading a move against doba as wasteful and non-productive labour. Many women are using imported calico to make skirts ('laplap') though others still maintain tradition and custom and make and wear doba.
: Commonwealth Institute Collection: Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, Oceania / Melanesia, Pacific: Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, Oceania / Melanesia, Pacific
:: Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, Oceania / Melanesia, Pacific
: Transferred from the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, 2012