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The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.



Baskets loosely woven from a portion of a palm frond are hastily improvised as needed for carrying fish or other articles. These are never kept to use a second time, but are thrown away when emptied. I have elsewhere described similar baskets from New Guinea, which, however, differ in size and pattern. Those of the New Hebrides appear, according to Lieutenant B.T. Somerville's description, to be made differently from either.
Fig. 50.

Fig. 50.

The simplest form (fig. 50) is a sort of tray for carrying fish. The specimen preserved measures about a foot in diameter, in shape is irregularly rhom-boidal, and consists of a portion of palm frond rachis with fifteen pinnules attached, which are interlaced and then knotted in two bows.

Another type (fig. 52) is bag shaped. An ordinary example is eighteen inches long and half as deep, formed by doubling part of a frond split down the middle and plaiting the pinnules as before, page 291
Fig. 51

Fig. 51

Fig. 52

Fig. 52

The pinnule tips, instead of being knotted at both ends of the basket as in New Guinea, are plaited along the floor and knotted in one bunch inside. A second specimen has the knot outside the basket.

A third type of basket was collected at Funafuti, the specimen of which came from Niutao. This (fig. 51) is a more finished form and was required for permanent, not temporary use. It is two feet long, one foot broad, and six inches deep. Two lengths of split frond are woven together, the two strips from the rachis making a double rim to the basket, No interstices are visible between the strands, of which an inner and an outer layer cross each other obliquely. Each pinnule is doubled, giving a thickness of four leaves to the basket wall. The basket ends are rounded, the floor flat with a median ridge, at each end the pinnule tips are plaited into flat straps, the lower three inches of which are within the basket, but the knotted extremities thereof are carried through the basket wall, making external handles. This form of handle appears to be indicated in a sketch of a Samoan basket by Edge-Partington.* The name of this basket was given me as "kete."

Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S.W., (2), 1895 (1896), p. 615, pl. lviii., fig. 2.

* Edge-Partington—loc. cit., ii., pl. xlvi., fig. 3.