Baskets in Polynesia

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University of Hawaii Press, 1990 - Crafts & Hobbies - 116 pages
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Baskets in Polynesia provides an overview of baskets made throughout central Polynesia from the time of early European contact to the present, observing and comparing regional similarities and differences over the course of two hundred years. Wendy Arbeit has collected and augmented much scattered data. The handsome studio photographs complement the text and show the basic techniques involved in the creation of the baskets, while field photographs show baskets in use. Tables present succinct summaries of regional basket types and the great variety of coconut frond baskets.

Once baskets played an integral part in everyday life in Polynesia. Baskets are still made today, but their role has altered dramatically as a result of changing lifestyles in the island cultures. Most baskets are now created by older women, and knowledge of the techniques of plaiting is in peril of being lost altogether. Documentation of basketry in Polynesia has been uneven and for some island groups totally lacking. With this important book, Arbeit remedies this situation.This attractive and informative work will appeal to readers with an interest in Polynesia and to artisans in ethnic crafts.

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About the author (1990)

Wendy S. Arbeit is the author of What Are Fronds For?, an introduction to the craft of plaiting coconut fronds; Tapa in Tonga, an overview of the techniques and uses of Tongan bark-cloth; and Baskets in Polynesia, a historical and photographic survey of central Polynesian baskets. She was co-editor of Pacific Arts, an annual international journal devoted to the arts of the Pacific basin.

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