Paddle-club 1932.680

[singlepic id=265 w=250 h=450 float=none]Paddle-club, Culacula This heavy paddle-club is entirely carved with very fine Fijian-style geometric patterns and a number of single, paired and mirrored anthropomorphic figures. Very elongated, they differ from the Tongan-style figures found on some Western

Photo Presentation of barkcloth LS.121058.TC1

[singlepic id=226 w=450 h=250 float=none]Presentation of barkcloth A large sheet of barkcloth (masi) is carried across the ceremonial ground (rara). Possibly photographed by A. B. Brewster, 1880-1900. Fiji. Collected by G. K. Roth. LS.121058.TC1 Solevu installation This installation evokes the

Painting by Josua Toganivalu 2013.27

[singlepic id=363 w=350 h=350 float=none]‘The Journey’ Josua Toganivalu, 2009 The painting reflects on the notion of life as a journey. The earth colours and grid-like structure are inspired by barkcloth. Geometrical motifs alternate with figurative scenes, including a canoe (waqa),

Garland 2013.30

[singlepic id=480 w=250 h=450 float=none]Garland, Salusalu Salusalu are garlands worn during ceremonial and festive occasions. Created by women, they are presented to the guests of honour at events, normally when being welcomed. Made of hibiscus (vau) fibre, they may be

Garland 2013.32

[singlepic id=481 w=250 h=450 float=none]Garland, Salusalu Salusalu are garlands worn during ceremonial and festive occasions. Created by women, they are presented to the guests of honour at events, normally when being welcomed. Made of hibiscus (vau) fibre, they may be

Barkcloth 1963.209

[singlepic id=140 w=450 h=250 float=none]Barkcloth Decorated with thirty-seven stencilled motifs, this piece is not a typical example of Fijian barkcloth or a copy of a masi G. K. Roth encountered in Fiji. He commissioned it from women in Vatulele to

Buddha’s Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond

28 May 2014 – 17 January 2015

This exhibition charts some of the incredible journeys that the words of the Buddha have taken: crossing mountains and oceans and taking different material forms in different places. It focuses on books, not just as objects of learning and study, but as relics of the Buddha, and sacred objects in their own right.

Portrait of Baron Anatole von Hügel P. Voluzan, 1899-1900 2013.14

[singlepic id=91 w=250 h=450 float=none]Portrait of Baron Anatole von Hügel P.  Voluzan, 1899-190o It thus comes about that up to the present von Hügel’s permanent memorial is the Museum. Those who remember the condition of affairs before and during the

Francis Dufty studio portraits 1871 – 77

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Photo Cakobau

[singlepic id=416 w=250 h=450 float=none]Cakobau is dressed vakatoga or in the chiefly Tongan style, with a long skirt of gatu barkcloth gathered and folded high up beneath the ribs, and a fringed white barkcloth waist sash.  

Photo Adi Litia Samanunu

[singlepic id=418 w=250 h=450 float=none]Adi Litia Samanunu’s portrait was actually taken by Sir John Thurston in 1869, but subsequently reprinted by Dufty under his studio’s name. This is the only known photograph of Adi Litia Samanunu.

Photo Adi Arieta Kuila and Timoce

[singlepic id=419 w=250 h=450 float=none]Adi Arieta Kuila was the eldest daughter of Cakobau and Adi Litia Samanunu of Bau. Although the boy is named as ‘Timoce’, this is probably Ratu Peni Tanoa.

Photo Viti Levu highlanders

[singlepic id=410 w=250 h=450 float=none] The men are wearing ulumate (wigs of human or horse hair), characteristic of Viti Levu.

Photo Koroicata

[singlepic id=411 w=250 h=450 float=none]Koroicata was a member of the Lasakau – one of the fishing or seafarer tribes at Bau island, just off the east coast of Viti Levu.

Photo Solomon boy and Ra Coast Fijian

[singlepic id=399 w=250 h=450 float=none]Both men have posed for the camera wearing Fijian chiefly accoutrements and holding clubs probably used by Dufty as studio props.

Photo soldier of the Armed Native Constabulary

[singlepic id=400 w=250 h=450 float=none]Armed with an Enfield rifle complete with bayonet, and wearing an ANC issue snake-buckled cartridge belt, he is otherwise dressed as a Christian warrior.

Photo Viti Levu highlander

[singlepic id=413 w=250 h=450 float=none]The man is wearing a tabua (presentation whale tooth), which is normally an important item of presentation, not an ornament.

Photo Rotuman man and female relatives

[singlepic id=414 w=250 h=450 float=none]The man is dressed entirely as a European, in suit, waistcoat, shirt and tie, trousers and boots. The two women wear vinivoa (pinafore bodices) introduced by the missionaries, and cloth isulu (wrap-around skirts).

Photo Fijians

[singlepic id=422 w=250 h=450 float=none]Cricket was introduced by the British and quickly picked up by Fijians. It remains a popular sport in some parts of Fiji today.

Photo young woman of Lomaloma

[singlepic id=417 w=250 h=450 float=none]She is wearing a liku skirt of stripped, pleated and variously dyed pandanus leaf, with a long hanging tassel of probably dark red dyed vau hibiscus bast fibres, the latter being indicative of chiefly status.

Photo Joeli Bulu

[singlepic id=403 w=250 h=450 float=none]Joeli Bulu was influential in the conversion of Cakobau, the Vunivalu of Bau, to Christianity in the 1850s, and was for many years Cakobau’s personal chaplain.

Photo Samoan woman

[singlepic id=404 w=250 h=450 float=none]Many of the items shown were Dufty’s studio props and appear in other portraits. Dufty also sold Fijian curios, and the priest’s dish on the left was bought by Sir Arthur Gordon.

Photo Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua

[singlepic id=405 w=250 h=450 float=none]Timoci is holding an iula drisia throwing club and wearing a cotton isulu with a white barkcloth waistsash and smoked barkcloth iwabale shoulder sash.

Photo Adi Senisia

[singlepic id=406 w=250 h=450 float=none]Adi Senisia is holding a feather duster that was used by Dufty as a studio prop, and appears in eleven other portraits.

Photo Emily Trask

[singlepic id=407 w=250 h=450 float=none]Francis Dufty made a second portrait of Emily Trask, that time wearing traditional Fijian clothing.

Breastplate Z 2749

[singlepic id=83 w=350 h=350 float=left][singlepic id=84 w=350 h=350 float=left]                     Breastplate, Civatabua Formed of seven plates of whale ivory, and of Tongan origin, this breastplate was amongst the first objects collected

Manos Creadoras (Creative Hands): Chilean arts and crafts

Friday 16 May, 5-9pm Museums at Night The museum is delighted to welcome three Chilean artists travelling to the UK for the first time. Join us for this special evening opening; drop in and talk to the artists who will

Photo Double-hulled canoe P.43887.HNL

[singlepic id=366 w=250 h=450 float=none]Double-hulled canoe, Drua A small drua about to cavu, which involves lifting the sail from one end of the main hull, sliding it along to slot into the other end, thereby changing direction. Small double canoes

Map Fiji

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Spear Z 3963

[singlepic id=373 w=350 h=350 float=left][singlepic id=374 w=350 h=350 float=left]                       Spear, Saisai This saisai takes its shape from forked fishing spears.The four heads are bound to the central shaft with

Club Z 3097

[singlepic id=186 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=188 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=191 w=150 h=150 float=left] [singlepic id=187 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=189 w=150 h=150 float=center] [singlepic id=190 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=192 w=150 h=150 float=center] Club, Totokia This totokia is entirely carved with very

Map Western Polynesia

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Club Z 3296

[singlepic id=193 w=250 h=450 float=none]Club, Bowai Very large and heavy bowai. A cord of plaited coir threaded with white glass beads is attached around the handle. The size of this club suggests that it was owned by someone of high

Photo Navukinivanua P.99803.VH

[singlepic id=365 w=450 h=250 float=none]Navukinivanua One of the last great drua, named Navukinivanua (the turner of the land), with members of Cakobau’s family and his retainers. The name likely refers to the changing political situation following Fiji’s cession to Britain

Breastplate Z 2724

[singlepic id=157 w=450 h=250 float=none]Shell breastplate, Civa Polished shell, probably gold-lipped oyster (Pinctada maxima) strung on two lengths of twisted pandanus fibre. Shell breastplates like this probably preceded whale ivory ones. Fiji. Collected by Sir A. Gordon, 1875-80. Z 2724

Garland 2013.29

[singlepic id=479 w=250 h=450 float=none]Garland, Salusalu Salusalu are garlands worn during ceremonial and festive occasions. Created by women, they are presented to the guests of honour at events, normally when being welcomed. Made of hibiscus (vau) fibre, they may be

Photo Government House P.99680.VH

[singlepic id=319 w=450 h=250 float=none]Government House A small child, possibly the Governor’s son, Jack, seated on a pony with two Fijian attendants in front of Government House. Note the combination of Fijian and European-style architecture. Nasova, Ovalau Island, Fiji. Collected

Photo Government House dining room P.27782.VH

[singlepic id=340 w=450 h=250 float=none]Government House dining room The back wall of the dining room at Government House. The arrangement of weapons, bowls, pottery and spirit houses on a gatuvakaviti barkcloth, was overseen by Lady Gordon with assistance of Alfred

Club Z 39431

[singlepic id=324 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=325 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=326 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Vunikau Vunikau translates as ‘tree-root’, from which the head of this type of club is carved. The buttress roots have been cut

Club Z 3094

[singlepic id=327 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=328 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=329 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Totokia Totokia take their shape from the fruit of the pandanus tree (balawa). In order to give a better grip, the handle

Club Z 3048

[singlepic id=330 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=331 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=332 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Sali Sali are probably named after the clawed flower of one of the wild banana-like plants (Musa species) found in the Fiji

Paddle-club Z 2968

[singlepic id=333 w=450 h=250 float=none]Paddle-club, Kinikini Traces of red pigment on the surface may indicate that this kinikini was used in dances, when weapons were adorned with pigments, fresh leaves or feathers.This enhanced their effect visually as well as aurally.

Club Z 3044

[singlepic id=334 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=335 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=336 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Gata waka Spurred clubs like this one have often been referred to as ‘gunstock clubs’ because of their resemblance to muskets. However,

Club Z 2983

[singlepic id=337 w=250 h=250 float=left][singlepic id=338 w=250 h=250 float=left]             Club, Siriti The head is carved with turtles, birds and an anthropomorphic figure in low relief. Objects were often exchanged between residents at Government House,

Paddle club Z 3293

[singlepic id=339 w=450 h=250 float=none]Paddle-club, Culacula Although undecorated, the exquisite finish and scale of this huge paddle-club suggests it belonged to a high-status person. It is likely that culacula took their shape from the culacula crab, the serrated sides of

Club Z 2974

[singlepic id=341 w=250 h=250 float=left][singlepic id=342 w=250 h=250 float=left]             Club, Siriti Siriti clubs take their shape from the butterfly fish (Chaetodontidae). They were probably used for dances and ceremonies rather than war. Originally from

Club Z 3033

[singlepic id=343 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=344 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=345 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Sali Often used in dances, sali were also efficient weapons. On a battlefield, the bladed cheeks of these clubs were designed to

Paddle-club Z 2966

[singlepic id=346 w=450 h=250 float=none]Paddle-club, Kinikini Kinikini were often carried as symbols of authority.  Their blades are usually carved with fine tavatava patterns, broken up by plain crescent and circular patterns in the uncarved wood. Fiji. Collected by A. Maudslay,

Club Z 3051

[singlepic id=347 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=348 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=349 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Sali The cheeks of sali spurred clubs were often decorated with panels of zigzags and circles in relief. Here, the back and

Club Z 3111

[singlepic id=350 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=351 w=150 h=150 float=left][singlepic id=352 w=150 h=150 float=left]         Club, Totokia The handle of this totokia is carved with fine Maori-style patterns. Four circular burnt marks are imprinted into the curved part

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