armlet (arm ornament)

Upper-arm bracelet (Bedamuni: nabu). An unfinished bracelet for the upper arm. Nabu are worn by men and women alike. This type of nabu, however, is worn only by men, especially by recently initiated adolescent boys. The name of this nabu, kenoni nabu, is derived from the zig-zag decoration or kenoni.

This nabu is left unfinished in order to show the manufacturing process. A strip of bark is shaped to measure and fastened with rope. The whole band is then wound with a thin strip of specially prepared Pandanus leaf (kaafo ruubi). Underneath the wrapping there are a number of sticks to enable the weaving of the motif. Prepared and split ribbon made of a type of fern (kaagu, see 1982.92i and 1982.92ii) is then plaited through the Pandanus strip with the aid of a bone needle (1982.118vi). As the work progresses, the small sticks are thrown away.

When a nabu is meant to be given to initiands, the bracelets are wrapped up in leaves and suspended from the rafters of the longhouse.

Nabu are only made by (young) initiated males. This nabu was made by Hei.

Collection Information

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