Early 19th-Century Fashion from Kiribati

The Baton Relay arrives in the Pacific Ocean island of Kiribati today (02.12.2013), which lies just two metres above sea level. Formerly part of the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati was just one of islands from where George Turner gathered his collection of over 100 items, which he later donated to the University.

The International Heritage project has documented the following items of clothing, or in some cases armour, which are thought to have been made in Kiribati:

The first is a pair of (comfortable) plaited coir or coconut-fibre trousers:


This can be teamed with a plaited coir or coconut-fibre cuirass:


And the outfit is set off by this woven fibre belt or girdle with attached nut shells:


We will be looking forward to seeing the Kiribatian costume of the 21st century which will be on display when the Baton arrives!

All items are held by the University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery and documented on the University’s International Story.


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Filed under Commonwealth of Nations, Oceania

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