Story: Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori

Comb and feather adornments

Comb and feather adornments

During James Cook's first expedition to New Zealand (1769–70), artist Sydney Parkinson recorded the variety of hairstyles and head adornments shown in this composite portrait. These six men have their hair tied or rolled in various styles, five have it secured with heru (carved combs) and five have added white feathers – usually three but in one case five.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0037-23
Hand-coloured engraving by Sydney Parkinson

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, 'Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori - Adorning the head', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/41013/comb-and-feather-adornments (accessed 16 September 2019)

Story by Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, published 5 Sep 2013