Oceania

Hawaiian Feather Cape

Feather cape, Hawaii, 1819 or earlier. Photo by Hillel Burger. PM 11-65-70/84100.

Collections from Oceania, comprising the islands of the South Pacific, the Philippines, and Australia, are extensive and include many rare eighteenth-century items collected by Boston merchants, traders, and researchers on Pacific voyages. Also included in these collections are items collected by the U.S. exploring voyages of the 1870s and 1880s, as well as a large collection from the Philippines that came from its Governor General.

Collection Highlights

  • Artifacts from the Dani, Asmat, and Sepik River area and Papuan Gulf of New Guinea.
  • Australian Aboriginal spears, boomerangs, dilly bags, shields, and bark paintings.
  • Carved clubs from Fiji and the Marquesas.
  • Carved spoons and bowls, woven blankets, and baskets from the Philippines.
  • Fossil hominin casts.
  • Hawaiian feather capes and helmets.
  • Ikat textiles from Indonesia.
  • Javanese shadow puppets.
  • Lithic material from Tasmania and Australia.
  • Malagan carvings from New Ireland.
  • Maori carved door panels, bowls, and human figures.
  • Micronesian tapa cloths and beaters, baskets, shell jewelry, and woven mats.
  • Shields, baskets, and sun hats from Borneo.
  • Solomon Island spears and wooden bowls.
  • Stick maps of the Marshall Islands.
  • Tapa figures and carved wood statues from Easter Island.

 

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