Report of the Curator of the Pitt-Rivers Museum 1908
During the year, a number of rearrangements and extensions of series have been effected. The collection of Religious Emblems was rearranged and labelled (in part), in view of the meeting of the Congress on the History of Religions in Oxford. In the upper gallery, the collection of harpoon-spears, which is very representative, has been rearranged, and a number of racks for spears have been added on the east wall. The stone implements of the Cave Period have been re-grouped, and numerous additions to this series have been made with a view to increasing its scientific interest. A glazed cabinet with exhibition case added has been placed in the upper gallery for the collection of stone implements from the Zambesi River, which I made in 1905 and 1907. The geological evidence points to many of these being of very high antiquity, and the correspondence in type between the Zambesi implements and those of the River-Drift period in Western Europe is remarkable. I have made a model of the Victoria Falls and the immediate neighbourhood, to illustrate the geological conditions under which the implements were found. In the lower gallery progress has been made in the arrangement of the series of Feather Ornaments. A case has been adapted in the Court for the exhibition of the series of friction-drums and allied musical instruments.

Two small series have been made to illustrate the hornbill (Rhitidoceros and Buceros) as represented in the art of Melanesia and Borneo, and the conventionalization of form which these designs undergo.

Plans of the court and of the two galleries, showing the position of the various series, were prepared by E.F. Bayzand, and have been suspended, so as to enable visitors to locate particular series.

A card-catalogue of the very extensive collection of Amulets, Talismans and Magic-appliances, has been commenced by Miss B. Freire Marreco, a former Diploma student, who has kindly devoted a considerable amount of time to this work.

Preparations were made for converting the “Duplicate-room” on the stairs into space for exhibition, and exhibition cases were ordered for its equipment. It will be necessary to add a top light. Fittings were added to the new store-room, which is being gradually adapted for the storing and sorting of specimens.

During the meeting of the Religions Congress, an evening reception was given in the Pitt Rivers Museum.

I delivered during each University Term courses of demonstration-lectures to the students for the Anthropological Diploma, the subjects being Prehistoric Archaeology and Comparative Technology; and a special course on the Comparative Technology with special reference to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudân was given to the Probationers for the Sudân Civil Service.

The accessions to the Museum have been numerous and interesting; a detailed list is appended.

Model of fully-equipped Maltese rowing-boat; 34 Neolithic implements and flakes, Windmill Hill, near Avebury, Wilts; painted bark cloth, Nicaragua; engraved horn spoon, Nor- wegian Lapp, Finmarken; collection of implements and flakes of flint, bone and horn implements, &c., from the cave deposits (palaeolithic) at Le Moustier, Solutré, Laugerie Haute, Laugerie Basse, La Madelaine, Gorge d'Enfer, and Les Eyzies, in the Dordogne, France (73 specimens); 12 flint implements and flakes from Kjökkcnmödinger at Korsör, Denmark. Presented by the Curator, H. Balfour, Esq., M.A. Specimens collected by Mr. A.C. Hollis from the Nandi tribe, Victoria Nyanza, Africa, viz.: fire-sticks, boy's bow, quiver with 5 arrows, 4 arrows, hide shield, leaf-shaped sword, snuff-box of nut-shell, wire-work ear-pendant, man's neck- ring of iron wire, bow and 5 stopped arrows for bleeding cattle, 8 small rat-shooting arrows, boy's wicker shield, 4 spears, iron-bladed hoe, iron axe blade, 2 divining boxes containing pebbles, hide-covered box for garments; 4 Masai bows and 2 stopped arrows for cattle-bleeding; very primitive form of Iyre, Lumbwa, Victoria Nyanza; very large friction- drum, muanza, Wanyika, E. Africa. Presented by A.C. Hollis, Esq., M.A., Secretary for Native Affairs, British E. African Protectorate. Home-made hypodermic syringe, China; moose-call of birch-bark, Tourilli R., Quebec, Canada. Presented by Dr. A.W. Comber, 7 St. Margaret's Road, Oxford. Native-made hypodermic syringe, China. Presented by F.B.W. Philips, Esq., M.D., 7 Harpur Place, Bedford. Funnel and bag used by Chinamen for injecting water into a dead pig to increase its selling weight, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malay Peninsula. Presented by T.A. Ford, Esq., F.R.C.V.S., Government Veterinary Surgeon, Selangor. Microscope, probably of the middle eighteenth century, ? English. Presented by F. Williams, Esq., Wantage, Berks. Knobkerrie-staff, S. Africa; double-bladed javelin, E. South Africa; foot-rasp and door-lock, Egypt; large Maori cloak of phormium tenax fibre, New Zealand; bone dominoes, 1849, English; 5 packs of early playing-cards; glazed pilgrim-badge, Treves; Jewish charm-medallion; leathern charm case, Sudan; head of pottery statuette, coloured, Greek or Greco-Egyptian. Presented by Rev. F.J. Brown, the Rectory, Steeple Aston, Oxon. Flute or short trumpet of bone, koauau, Maori, New Zealand. Presented by the Committee of the Museum and Art Gallery, Beaumont Park, Plymouth. Triangular harp, Kru natives, W. Africa; rude fiddle with bow, drum used in sending messages to a distance, painted wooden mask, pair of carved wooden figures of man and woman, quiver with 8 arrows, W. Coast of Africa. Presented by D.H. Nagel, Esq., M.A., Trinity College, Oxford. Flint flakes from a barrow in Cataclew Bay, Cornwall; flint cores and flake from Limpsfield, Surrey, and Wolvercote, Oxon. Presented by A.M. Bell, Esq., M.A., "Limpsfield," Rawlinson Road, Oxford. Pebble with natural perforation, hung as a "lucky stone" in a cottage at Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Northumberland. Presented by Miss Humble, Newbiggin. Bark cloth, Portuguese E. Africa.' Presented by F.G. Monier-Williams, Esq., M.A., The Lammas, Esher, Surrey. Cakes of cassava-bread, Carib Indians, British Guiana. Presented by W. Purnell, Esq., 128 High Street, Oxford. Eight Palaeolithic implements and 10 flakes from the gravel quarry at Biddenham, Bedford; rough implements, perhaps Neolithic, from same site; 6 rough flint implements, Sharnbrook, Bedford; flint core, Kempston, Beds. Presented by F.H.S. Knowles, Esq., B.A., Oriel College, Oxford. Mediaeval brass thimble, Beckhampton, Wilts. Presented by H.St.G. Gray, Esq., The Castle Museum, Taunton. Fifty-three Neolithic implements and flakes from Windmill Hill, near Avebury, Wilts. Presented by Mrs. H.St.G. Gray. Two snuff-gourds and 8 bead-work ornaments, Kaffir, Natal. Presented by W.N. Cowie, Esq., Oxford.  A Zulu girl's set of bead-work ornaments; 2 wooden combs with bead-work, Zulu, S. Africa; wooden comb carved with human figures, Benin, Nigeria. Presented by W. Fingland, Esq., 61 Rodney Street, Liverpool. Model of spear-thrower from California, from original in the British Museum. Presented by C.H. Read, Esq., F.S.A., D.C.L., British Museum, London. Glass bottle from which flakes for use as razors have been struck with a pebble, Antigua; flint flakes pottery and bones from Wookey Hole, Somerset; bones, &c., from Glastonbury Lake village, Somerset, &c. Presented by J.A. Harley, Esq., Jesus College, Oxford. Fine carved helmet-mask, Ijo tribe, Niger R., W. Africa; high leather boots, digitated boots, leather sandal, and shoes of Arab type, Nupé, Nigeria. Presented by Major C.B. Morgan, D.S.O., Honingspruit, Orange River Colony. Bird-shaped pottery vessel, Dutch Guiana. Presented by the Bishop of Guiana. Specimens from W. Africa, viz.: carved-wood "river goddess," Mendi country, Sierra Leone; carved-wood household female fetish, 2 carved helmet-masks; 5 single- and 3 double-bladed paddles, carved, Jekri; 5 spears with leather- covered shafts, quiver with arrows, whip, 2 cow-hide fans, 2 flag-shaped fans of grass-work, 2 whisks of fibre, ornamental leather pouch, 3 currency “manillas," 3 carved wooden seats, mancala gaming-board, drum, ? Gold Coast; broad-bladed dagger, ?Gaboon; dagger of carved wood, ?Kasai, Congo State; 2 Moorish daggers; 5 bead-work ornaments, Zulu, Natal; snuff-box of fruit-shell with wire work, S. Africa. Specimens from British Guiana, viz.: 4 bows, 7 wooden- pointed arrows, 10 metal-pointed ditto, 2 blunt-headed bird- arrows, 2 three-pointed arrows, 3 harpoon-arrows, blow-gun, quiver for darts, 3 macana clubs, cassava-strainer, 2 cassava- baskets, pottery flask, coronet of feathers, necklet with 148 peccary teeth, 2 necklets of nut shells, 2 wooden paddles. Spear head, Assam; 3 Goorkha kukri knives; short sword, ?Lepcha, Sikkim. Presented by Mrs. William Clark, 6 Newton Road, Westbourne Grove, London, W. "Moses stone" amulet, circular amulet of red soapstone, leaden charm with Arabic inscription, baby's charm of bead-work and alum. Presented by Miss K.M. Reynolds, 8 Darnley Road, Royal Crescent, London, W. Specimens from the Gran Chaco tribes, Paraguay, viz.: hunting-club, mandioca-rasp of wood, cow-hide hunting-and wrestling-belt, woollen belt worn by women, Lengua tribe; string-work defensive jacket of caraguata fibre, Toothli tribe. Presented by Rev. Andrew Pride, Massey Road, Lincoln. Dervish spear and jibbeh from the battlefield of Kerreri, Omdurman; 2 debased Dervish dollars, Omdurman; cup of rhinoceros-horn, believed to neutralize poisons, Burun tribe, Blue Nile; Nuba harp, Southern Kordofan; silver-mounted ostrich-egg-shell, given to Sir R. Wingate by an Arab sheikh on the Blue Nile. Presented by Mrs. H.K. Eden, Hillbrow, Rugby.  Protective head-gear worn by Dervish cavalry, Kerreri battlefield, Omdurman. Presented by Crispin A. Ball, Esq., Catalouge of specimens of bark-cloth obtained during the voyages of Captain Cook, London 1787. Presented by F.C. Conybeare, Esq., M.A., Bradmore Road, Oxford.  Witch-doctor's necklet of horns and gall bladders of goats, Zulu, Tugela River; combined comb and snuff-spoon, Tembu, S. Africa; 2 Zulu snuff-spoons, bamboo ear-plug, and ditto of horn, Laduma's Kraal, Swartkop, Pietermaritzburg; Mocharanga shell labret, sheath-knife and skin-scraper, Umtali, Mashonaland; smock-frock, Birtsmorton, Worcester- shire. Presented by E.S. Hartland, Esq., F.S.A., Highgarth, Gloucester.  String of cowrie shells used as currency, and 2 government perforated coins, Uganda Protectorate; iron bangle used as currency, and 3 native-made fish-hooks, Buvuma Island, Victoria Nyanza. Presented by E.W. Haddon, Esq., Inisfail, Hills Road, Cambridge. Ornamental belt of gorgonia-stem beads and 4 belts of coconut-shell beads, Caroline Islands; cord of plaited fucus worn as an ornament, New Guinea; 2 models of outrigger canoes and model of sailing boat, locality not known; pottery-dish (?lamp), Philippines; 10 miniature practice-arrows, Japan; 8 long Japanese arrows; 10 Chinese arrows; 6 poisoned arrows, Africa; 3 metal-bladed arrows, Africa. Presented by Mrs. Maclear, Beaconscroft, Chiddingfold, Surrey. Large rough wooden crossbow with arrow and drawing-lever, used for whale shooting, Skogsvaag, Store Sartor, west coast of Norway; early Venetian glass beads obtained from Mudugala Veddas, Ceylon. Presented by Dr. C.G. Seligmann, 15 York Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W.  Wooden reaping-glove, nawapía, Pharsala, Thessaly; charm to protect horses against the evil eye, Athens; end- flute of reed, Sparta. Presented by M. Scott Thompson, Esq., M.A., Garthlands, Reigate Heath, Surrey. Four-lobed vessel of black pottery from an ancient Peruvian grave. Presented by Miss F. Broughton, River View, Headington Hill, Oxford. Basket ornamentally woven in colours, Sarawak. Presented by the Rev. A.F. Sharp, Archdeacon of Sarawak. Leaden pilgrim-bottle, Southwold; specimen illustrating loop-weaving through a bobbin, English. Presented by Miss B. Freire-Marreco, Potter's Croft, Horsell, Surrey. Three ovate palaeoliths from drift-gravels near Farnham, Surrey. Presented by the Rev. C.H. Keable, M.A. Hand-made pottery bowl, Barvas, Island of Lewis, N B.; crossbow rat-trap, French Sahara, N. Africa. Presented by A.W.W. Brown, Esq, 63 Carlisle Mansions, Carlisle Place, S.W. Four bronze plaques with relief figures of fishes, crocodile's head, and snake, Benin, Nigeria. Presented by H.N. Thompson, Esq., Conservator of Forests, Southern Nigeria. Ornamental fork used for making ceremonial offerings in temples, India. Presented by R.W.T. Günther, Esq, M.A., Magdalen College, Oxford. Reunited palaeolithic flint flakes from the palaeolithic workshop floor, Caddington Hill, Dunstable. Presented by Worthington G. Smith, Esq., Dunstable. Piece of bark cloth, Portuguese East Africa. Presented by P.M. Clark, Esq., Victoria Falls, Southern Rhodesia. Three bars of native iron currency, Northern Nigeria. Presented by J.M. Fremantle, Esq., C.S., M.A., Northern Nigeria.  Clappers, rasp-sistrum, 3 horns with beating-reeds and large friction drum, used during the Feast of Piedigrotta, Naples, 1907. Presented by E. Neville Rolfe, Esq., C.B., British Consul General, Naples. Thirty-six flint implements of rude form and early type from the neighbourhood of Winterbourne Bassett, Wilts. Presented by the Rev. H.G.O. Kendal, M.A., The Rectory, Winterbourne Bassett. Specimens of Indian brasswork, viz. toy elephant cast by cire perdu process, Upper India; very fine pedestal lamp for temple use, heavy spout-vessel with tiger handle, and stand for a lota, Nepal; 3 large candlestands, Lucknow; ascetic's alms-bowl, Upper India; lota of copper and brass, ganja- jamani, Benares; Muhammadan ewer of tinned copper, Central Asia. Presented by W. Benett, Esq., Warborough, Wallingford. Twelve samples of basket-weaving with the patterns named, Sea Dayak, Undup R., Sarawak. Presented by R. Shelford, Esq., M.A, Hope Department, University Museum, Oxford. Drum, luhenga, fitted with buzzing membrane at the side, Ba-Tetela, Kasai district, Congo State. Presented by Mons. Emil Torday. Pair of tall house lanterns with gauze windows, Seoul, Corea. Presented by Mr. And Mrs. S. Wakefield, I.M. Customs, Yochow, Hunan, China. Two pairs of Chinese slippers; Japanese book; stilus for writing on palm-leaf, India; Japanese ink-and-brush case; 2 ushabtiu, Ancient Egyptian; bark used in cigarette-making, Manaos, Brazil; bark cloth, Fiji Islands. Anonymous.

Specimens from Sarawak, Borneo, viz.: 2 Sea Dayak armour-jackets of over-lapping fish-scales; Sea Dayak spear; Kenyah and Kalabit spears; Kayan spear-head mounted in the Malayan style; 4 Kayan blow-guns; Kenyah pith-gauge; 2 bamboo ranjau or calthrops; Sea Dayak frame with threads stretched and bound for dyeing; 2 blankets woven with anthropomorphic designs, Sea Dyak; necklet of trade beads, Saribas Dayak, Samarahan R.; pair of bone ear-ornaments imitating teeth of the clouded tiger, Kenyah; 3 men's leaden ear-pendants, Sea Dayak; Sea Dayak hair-pin of bone; deer-horn charm; Milano apparatus for head-distortion; 5 engraved bamboo cases, tabong; 3 tenyalang, carved representations of the rhinoceros hornbill, Saribas Dayaks; 3 pieces of " hat-money" from Pahang, Lower Siamese States. (Rev. A.F. Sharp, M.A., Archdeacon of Sarawak.) Specimens from Sarawak, from Archdeacon Sharp's collection, viz. piece of bark cloth; complete Sea Dayak loom; Sea Dayak loin cloth; Sea Dayak sword, niabor, now obso- lete; 3 carved thread-winders; Land Dayak bamboo pipe; carved paper-knife; 8 Sea Dayak carved bamboo tubes; 8 carved Land Dayak lime boxes; 2, ditto; 1 plain ditto; panel prepared for carving and another partly carved, Sebuyau; Sea Dayak box covered with basket- and bead-work; pair of bead tassels for sword-scabbard, Sea Dayak; 5 Sea Dayak bead-work necklets; 3 Sea Dayak bead-work tassels; 5 men's armlets of cane and brass-work. (At a sale, Oxford.) Twenty-nine palaeoliths and flakes from thc gravel quarry at Biddenham, Bedford; lance-head of flint, perhaps Neolithic, from the same site. (F.H.S. Knowles, Esq) T-shaped knife used as currency, Ba-Yanzi, Kwilu R., Kasai, Congo State; 2 pieces of iron currency of a form derived probably from a knife similar to the above, Sierra Leone; triple-bladed sprhlg dagger, India; bone runner- skate and 2 pin-makers' rests of bone, dug up in London; hawk-headed canopic jar of stone and mummy of a small crocodile, Ancient Egyptian; 4 Congo knives; heavy bronze plaque with leopard-skin represented in relief, Benin, Nigeria 2 throwing-knives, Mobangi, Congo; 3 harpoons, Mongalla Congo; warrior's neck-ring, calabubo, of coconut-shell discs, Nias Id., Sumatra; rare ceremonial carved paddle, Buka, Solomon Islands; fine dagger in copper-bound sheath, Mongalla, Congo; Indian Katah dagger; brass-mounted flint-lock pistol, ? Turkish; Persian woman's veil for the lower part of the face; 10 inscribed bone rings, Tibetan. (Stevens ) Two stone axe-blades, notched for hafting, of West Indian or N. American type, dug up at Harley Villa, Church End N. Finchley, in 1904 ; palaeolith from gravels at Kempston, Beds. (E.E. Whitehead.) Old Hudson's Bay Co. trade blanket, formerly the property of a Haida chief's wife, Queen Charlotte Island; silver ring of Russian make belonging to a Haida Indian of Masset, Queen Charlotte Island; silver ring of native make, Haida Masset. (Rev. C. Harrison.) Wayang Kulit marionette of tin, Java; gourd rattle, " Botocudo," Paraná, Brazil; Canadian Indian carved flageolet of bone. (Oldman.) Pair of old English link-extinguishers. (Walford & Spokes.) Carved ivory figure of a whale, Eskimo, W. Alaska; South Australian spear-thrower. (Webster.) Goorkha Kukri with handle of unusual form. (Beveridge.) Two old peasant's torch holders for pine-splints, Russia (Mons. M. de Bernoff.) Figure of horse for sewing on to Jewish caps; 3 silver symbolic hands for wearing as pendants, Jewish; 2 silver ex voto plaques, Greek Church; all from Jerusalem. (Miss K.M. Reynolds.) Fine coat and hood of seal-intestines and pouch of same material, Aleutian Islands; sash of woven fibre, Caroline Islands. (E. Freeborn.) Collection of specimens from Collingwood Bay, New Guinea, viz.—from the Ubiri tribe of Wanigera—5 pieces of decorated bark cloth, 10 wooden lime spatulae, 3 ditto of bone, 2 bamboo pipes, 9 rayskin files, 11 boars' tusks used as tools, 15 melea- grina shells used as spoons and scrapers, 5 awls of wallaby bone, early piece of decorated pottery, string-work bag, 2, fishing-nets, netting-needle, 14 turtle-shell net-gauges, cassowary-bone chisel, wax and resin used as adhesives, 6 green- stone adge-blades, 1 hafted ditto, 2 rough razors of obsidian and 2 blocks of obsidian, sling-stone, child's rattle made from a bean pod, 2 combs of turtle-shell, fringe of human hair worn by men, 2, crescentic ornaments of wicker, racquet- shaped ornament with coix seeds, plates of melo shell carried in the mouth to protect the lower part of the face, 2 white cowries, worn by chiefs on the arm, 2 gigi shells (turritella) valued as ornaments, 4 coconut-shell armlets, 5 plaited armlets, 2 armlets set with coix seeds, 3 turtle-shell ear-pendants, 3 earrings of coconut-shell, head ornament of cuscus skins, 4 palm-leaf belts, string-work belt, long girdle of plaited fucus, necklet of banana seeds, 9 shell necklets, 2, necklets of cone-shell bases, 6 jingles of canarium nut-shells. Erom the Maisin tribe of Uiaku—9 wooden lime-spatulae, 3 bone ditto, greenstone adze-blade, nose-ornament of cone-shell, 2 plaques of white shell, earring of coconut-shell, 4 necklets of coix seeds, 2, ditto of black seeds, ditto of pieces of root, 3 necklets of shell discs. (W.H. Chignell, Esq.) Naga permalei, carved figure of horned serpent (sea snake), used in cure of heart disease; the complaint is transferred to the figure, which is then thrown into a river; 2 Naga spears, Assam. (Solloway.) Old English high bicycle, c. 1870. (Shorey.) Metacarpal of an ox shaped to form a kind of rude spokesllave, dug up at an old mill near Banbury, Oxon. (Bateman.) Lyre-shaped guitar, European. (Wildridge.) New Hebrides club; bone arrow-head, ?Eskimo; W. African marimba; 2 Eastern matchlocks converted to flint-locks. (Parker.)

Very fine palaeolith from the gravel quarry at Biddenham, Bedford. (F.H.S. Knowles, Esq., B.A., Oriel College, Oxford.) Two specimens of " hat " money, Pahang, Malay Peninsula. (H. Ling Roth, Esq., Halifax.) Three flint scrapers, Aldeburgh, Suffolk; 2 triangular flint blades, large leaf-shaped flint blade (broken) and rough stone perforated by ' pecking", Lakenheath, Suffolk; worked flint flake, Charlbury, Oxon; 9 flint arrow-heads, 2 worked flakes, " pigmy " flint implement, and triangular flint knife, Stonesfield district, Oxon; 3 " pigmy " flint implements, Scunthorpe, Lincs.; rough arrow-head and 2 worked flake-knives, Concise, Lake Neuchátel, Switzerland. (R. Wilson, Esq., Tackley, Oxon.)

Primitive harp, Gaboon, W. Africa; five-stringed musical instrument with the string attached to separate bows, Southern Ba-Mbala, Kwilu R., Congo State. (The Curator.)


virtual collections logo

Supported by the John Fell OUP Research Fund


(c) 2012 Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford