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Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology


Attracted by the flourishing community in Levuka, Francis Dufty established a photographic studio in 1871. Both settlers and Fijians were quick to adapt photography for their own uses, keen to obtain individual and family portraits as a means of asserting identity and underlining their status. 

MAA's extensive Dufty collection includes numerous albumen prints and cartes-de-visite. Many depict chiefly families as well as a disparate group of Fijians and other people from the Pacific, drawn to the new capital. Dufty also photographed European settlers and produced composite images used to promote the authority of the colonial community.

Dufty built up a commercial stock of portraits of Fijians and other Pacific Islanders. It is likely that some of the people who posed for Dufty were paid or received a copy of their photograph in exchange. Portraits were often staged, a process which facilitated the creation of Fijian stereotypes. A dealer in Fijian handicrafts, Dufty acquired a range of props which were used repeatedly.

Dufty also photographed street scenes and landscapes. He occasionally worked for the Governor, being called to Government House or travelling with members of the colonial administration to record key political events. 


Beach Avenue. Dufty's 'Victorian Studio' on Beach Avenue, alongside the Fiji Times, W. Ledingham's store, and the tobacconist. Probably photographed by Dufty, 1875-80, Levuka, Ovalau Island, Fiji. Courtesy of the Fiji Museum. 

Francis Dufty: studio portraits 1871 - 77
Adi Litia Samanunu
Adi Arieta Kuila and Timoce
Viti Levu Highlanders
Solomon boy and Ra Coast Fijian
Soldier of the Armed Native Constabulary
Viti Levu Highlander
Rotuman man and female relatives
Young woman of Lomaloma
Joeli Bulu
Samoan woman
Ratu timoci tavanavanua
Adi Senisia
Emily Trask
Ratu Marita Toroca