armlet (arm ornament)

Plaited orchid stem fibre armlet in yellow, red and dark brown

Band for the arm, of plaited vine-strip, red, yellow and black. The provenance of this style of arm band is not firmly established, but it probably western Solomons and Bougainville. Of three similar examples in the British Museum, two (Oc1944,02.1391 and 1392) are attributed to Bougainville, probably conjecturally, and one (Oc1938.1001.23) has an uncertain Solomon Islands provenance. Ribbe (1903:264) writes of Roviana: "Broad sleeve-like armbands with beautiful patterns, yellow, red and black, were sometimes brought in from Cape Grace and sometimes made by the people themselves and worn as festival decorations." (Cape Grace, so far unidentified, could be Bougainville).

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: