Origin: Hawaiian Islands
Description: During the visit of Captain James Cook to Kealekekua Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii, ship's artist John Weber sketched some mysterious men paddling a canoe and wearing what appeared to be gourd masks. These men were members of a secret warrior society called makini and the mask, or helmet has been given the same name. Makini refers to a group of spears tied together and used as a battering ram in war, and it also has the meaning of "many deaths" or "death-dealing." This warrior society was dedicated to the protection of the high chief. The crest was made of a tough sedge called 'uki and strips of tapa cloth were often hung from the lower edges of the gourd. Contrary to tourist presentations, this headgear did not signify that the wearer was a kahuna.
Copyright by Serge King 2002