Textiles at the Honolulu Museum of Art
While we were in Hawaii for a family reunion last month, we visited the Honolulu Museum of Art. My dad started studying Asian painting earlier this year and was excited to see the museum. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the textiles room. Below is an overview of the handwoven items from mostly Polynesian countries.
Traditional dress mats from the Marshall Islands. These were typically woven by women and made from pandanus fiber, dyed hibiscus fibers and local vines. I love the detail on the borders, which are woven into the fabric.
A man's dance mat from Fanning Island.
A sleeping mat from Borneo that was woven straight up and down rather than on the diagonal. Made from rattan palm.
A mat from Fiji made with pandanus leaves. The leaves are boiled, the spines are removed, then the leaves are pounded with sticks and dried in the sun. The dark color is created by a special black mud. Several women can weave the mat at the same time.
These mats were given as wedding and funeral gifts in Samoa. The detail on the end, including the red decoration is exquisite.
While off the main tourist path for a first trip to Hawaii, if you are interested in weaving, the Honolulu Museum of Art is very interesting. You can see the rest of the collection by visiting the museum.