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Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

 

Chiefs and Governors: Art and Power in Fiji is inspired by MAA's extraordinary Fijian collections. The displays explore the power of Fijian objects in the past and present. Exquisite ornaments, wood carvings and richly patterned barkcloths (masi) celebrate the creativity and expertise of their makers.


These highly valued objects continue to be prominent in Fijian cultural life. Many reflect the movement of people, ideas and skills within Western Polynesia. Their presentation mediated relationships between powerful chieftains as well as between Fijian chiefs, British governors and others.

Most of the rich material on display was acquired by the official residents and guests of Governor SIr Arthur Gordon's household shortly after Fiji's cesion to the British Crown in 1874. Transferred to Cambridge they helped found the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology when it opened in 1884. The opening of Chiefs and Governors in June 2013 marks the centenary of the purpose built museum created by the MAA's first and longstanding Curator, Baron Anatole von Hügel.