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On display
human history
  • Other Name

    Helmet (English)

  • Description

    Presentation: Solomon Apio's Hawaiian Mahiole; Hawaiian helmet.

    Mahiole. Helmet. A crescent shaped helmet base with attached 'mushroom' adornments all woven from 'ie'ie (Freycinetia Arborea) aerial rootlets that were harvested by Solomon Apio and prepared for weaving. A two-ply twill weaving technique using the 'ie'ie rootlets dyed with Kukui (Candlenut tree) bark creates the natural colour finish. There are 10 'mushroom' shaped adornments; 8 are positioned along the side of the helmet, in two rows from midway of the helmet to the back and 2 ‘mushroom’ forms are positioned along the centre of helmet from the front to midway of helmet. The ‘mushroom’ adornments are twined separately in the form of cylindrical stems with a circular disc attached as the top for each. The mahiole is natural in colour.

  • Place
  • Accession Number
  • Accession Date
    09 Nov 2018
  • Other Id


  • Department
  • Display Room
2018.66.1, Mahiole, Helmet, Hawaii, CC BY

Images and documents



  • Display location

    Pacific Lifeways

  • Credit Line
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 2018.66.1
  • Public Access Text

    This mahiole helmet is an authentic reproduction of a helmet that was traditionally worn by either warriors or chiefs. The crescent shaped helmet base with attached 'mushroom' (Pōheoheo) adornments is woven from ‘ie’ie (Freycinetia Arborea) aerial rootlets that were harvested by Mr Solomon Ku’ulei Apio, a retired naval shipyard mechanic well-known for his practice as a wood and stone carver, and weaver.

    Solomon Apio weaves with native ‘ieʻie rootlets to make traditional Hawaiian helmets, baskets and fish traps. He also makes Kou wood bowls, traditional Hawaiian war weapons (na mea kaua) and kapa. Solomon Apio has extended his knowledge and skills of crafting to include the use of both traditional and modern tools in his practice and he has been invited to many events, both in Hawai’i and internationally, to share his knowledge. Solomon Apio researched Hawaiian material culture at the Bishop Museum, and is today one of only a handful of indigenous Hawaiian mahiole makers.

  • Collection
  • Primary Maker

     Mr Solomon Apio (Maker)

  • Place
  • Date
    Circa Mar 2016
  • Media
  • Measurement Reading

    330mm (base length)

    190mm (base width)

    180mm (including woven attachments)

  • Subject Category
  • Classification
  • Last Update
    18 Nov 2019
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