This small collection includes historical Melanesian objects from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Samoan Islands, as well as several notable examples of tapa cloth. Some of the earliest gifts to the museum included works in the Maori style from New Zealand and a carved wooden bowl from Polynesia. Most recently, the museum received a Baining-style leaf-spirit mask from the collection of Rosemary and John Olds.

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Collection Highlights

Central Baining-style mask (kavat)

Mask (kavat)

Central Baining style; Papua New Guinea

Barkcloth panel (siapo)

Unrecorded artist; Samoa

Body mask

Asmat style; Southwest New Guinea

Tingari Cycle

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

Funerary carving (malagan)

Unrecorded artist; Northern New Ireland