If you’re in Cambridge, make sure you visit the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. They have a great collection of Oceanic Art including objects collected by Captain Cook. There are some very large pieces including an intricately carved Maori flag pole and a huge Vanuatu slit drum.
You can see the drum below, as well as a classic Cook Islands staff god, a necklace carved from whale’s teeth and a cool Papua New Guinea carving of a crab.
The show is arranged in themes. The Nguzunguzu carving above is a canoe figurehead from the Solomon Islands which features in the first room along with canoes, paddles, maps and other voyaging art and objects.
There were some familiar works like the Papua New Guinea flute stopper above left and some things I’d never seen before like the fantastic necklace made of whale’s teeth, above right.
There are works from many parts of Oceania, contrasting the different styles that have evolved in different islands and regions. The first crocodile above is a canoe prow carving from Papua New Guinea while the second is from the Solomon Islands.
Styles vary within a region, such as the gods Ku and Lono from Hawaii above left and center, and from region to region— like the Papua New Guinea ancestor figure on the right.
The show is on until the 10th December so there’s still time to go, don’t miss it!