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The Maori Collections of the British Museum

By: Dorota Czarkowska Starzecka(Author), Roger Neich(Author), Mick Pendergrast(Author)

336 pages, 40 colour & 300 b/w illustrations

British Museum Press

Hardback | Oct 2010 | #231296 | ISBN-13: 9780714125947
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £74.99 $97 / €86 approx

About this book

The British Museum holds the largest Maori collections outside New Zealand, including some items of major artistic and cultural significance. This important book will contain a substantial introduction including a history of the study of Maori material culture in Britain and New Zealand and a history of the BM collection and how it was acquired. This will be followed by a detailed catalogue describing over 2,300 items – including woodcarvings, model canoes and paddles, domestic equipment, cloaks, baskets and bags, jewellery, musical instruments, ceremonial objects, fishing and hunting equipment, tools, weapons, and modern ceramics – an appendix listing collectors, donors and vendors, a glossary, and about 340 photographs illustrating approximately 500 objects. Written by specialists from both Britain and New Zealand, The Maori Collections of the British Museum will be the definitive publication on this remarkable collection.

"This magnificent and weighty book documents 2351 tangao Maori in the British Museum [...] an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in the material culture of Maori."
– Taranaki Daily News


I. Foreword and acknowledgements

II. A Short history of the study of Maori material culture and art between the British Museum and New Zealand
1. Introduction
2. Early English private collectors and dealers
3. Later English private collectors
4. Other European writers on Maori material culture
5. British Museum personnel
6. New Zealand museum personnel and academics
7. Another mode of study
8. Bringing together New Zealand scholars and British collections
9. Maori artists and scholars

III. History of Maori collections in the British Museum
1. The Museum and the Department
2. The registration system and documentation
3. Acquisition of the collections
4. Significant collections
5. Arrangement of catalogue sections and catalogue entries

I. Canoes
1. Model canoes
A. War canoes
B. Fishing canoes
2. Canoe parts
A. War canoe parts
B. Fishing canoe parts
C. Thwarts
D. Model canoe parts
3. Paddles and Sail
A. Painted paddles
B. Carved paddles
C. Plain paddles
D. Steering paddle
E. Model paddles
F. Sail
4. Bailers

II. Storehouses, Houses, Miscellaneous Carvings
1. Model storehouses
2. Storehouse parts
3. Model house
4. House parts
A. Gable figures
B. Gable masks
C. Various house parts
D. Lintels
E. Door jambs
F. Interior central post figures
G. Side wall panels
H. Plaited side wall panels
5. Miscellaneous carvings
A. Palisade posts
B. Other carvings

III. Domestic Equipment
1. Bowls and gourds
2. Beaters and other implements

IV. Treasure Boxes, Ornaments, Tattooing Equipment
1. Treasure boxes
2. Ornaments
A. Pendants rei puta, hei-tiki, hei-matau, pekapeka, koropepe
B. Pendants kuru, kapeu, miscellaneous pendants, cloak pins, combs, parrot rings and feather ornaments
3. Tattooing equipment
A. Pigment containers and feeding funnels
B. Tattooing implements

V. Amusements, Musical Instruments
1. Amusements
A. Puppets, tobacco pipes, spinning tops
B. Poi balls
2. Musical instruments
A. Flutes nguru, koauau, porutu, rehu
B. Trumpets/flutes putorino
C. Trumpets pukaea, putatara, bullroarers, weka calls

VI. Ceremonial and Memorial and Mortuary Objects
1. Ceremonial objects
A. Genealogical staves
B. Godsticks
C. Ceremonial adzes
D. Staves
E. Other ceremonial objects
2. Memorials and mortuary objects

VII. Weapons
1. Spears and whipslings
2. Long clubs
A. Pouwhenua
B. Tewhatewha
C. Taiaha
D. Hoeroa
3. Short clubs
A. Patu paraoa
B. Mere pounamu
C. Patu onewa and miti
D. Kotiate
E. Wahaika
4. Other short clubs
A. Patuki
B. Patu rakau
5. Non-traditional weapons
6. Military accoutrements

VIII. Fishing, Hunting, Agriculture, Tools
1. Fishing
A. Fishing implements
B. Fishhooks
2. Hunting equipment
3. Agricultural implements
4. Tools
A. Hafted tools
B. Wood and bone tools
C. Nephrite adze blades
D. Stone adze blades
E. Chisels and gouges
F. Miscellaneous stone tools
G. Flakes and flake implements
H. Worked bone, nephrite and shell

IX. Weaving Implements, Clothing, Basketry, Related Fibre Items, Mats, Samples
1. Weaving implements
2. Clothing
A. Plaited cloak, raincapes and related dress cloaks
B. Dog-skin cloaks, close-weft cloaks pukupuku, closely-woven cloaks with taniko
C. Cloaks kaitaka: patea and paepaeroa, and huaki
D. Cloaks korowai, karure and ngore
E. Feather cloaks kahu huruhuru, kahu kiwi
F. Other items of clothing
3. Basketry
A. Plaited baskets
B. Patterned plaited baskets
C. Woven bags
D. Miscellaneous baskets and bags
4. Related fibre items
5. Mats
6. Samples

X. Modern Ceramics

XI. Chatham Islands
1. Ceremonial objects
2. Ornaments
3. Weapons
4. Hunting and fishing equipment
5. Tools
6. Stone adze blades

XII. Maori-style Objects

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Dorota C. Starzecka is a former curator of the Oceanic collections at the British Museum. Dr. Roger Neich is curator of Ethnology at the Auckland Museum and Professor of Anthropology in the University of Auckland. Mick Pendergrast was formerly Assistant Ethnologist at Auckland Museum.

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