Banner image showing PRM Gallery

Rolleston papers, Ashmolean Museum: 

Transcription of documents which relate to the development of museum anthropology at Oxford: 


The Rev'd G.W. [sic] Lawes & the Rev'd Joseph King Savage Island & Samoan July 25 1873
i. Head of Dugong Helicore Australis brought from Solomon Islands by Captain of a Tower [sic] Presented by the Rev’d Joseph King All the rest from Savage Island [presumably this stayed at the OUMNH?]
ii. Grooved Beater common to all Polynesian Islands for making Tapa = common clothes out of [illegible] bark of Paper Mulberry. For description see Wilkes U.S. Exploratory Expedition vol ii p. 142 & Fig p. 60 Lubbock Prehistoric Times [insert] 20 2d [end insert] p. 463 and Ellis Polynesian Researches vol i p. 179 & p. 180 for figure [either 1887.1.570, 570a, 571, or 2005.37.1]
iii. Model of Canoe with Baler & paddles. Small model cowries are set all along the side, in a real canoe there would be only two large white cowries. For Description see Wilkes US Exploratory Expedition vol ii p. 143 – 144 [1887.1.551]
iv. Native Pillow Savage Island “4 B... abut yr. Fathers” [sic, this isn’t a correct transcription!] in Samoa see Turner Polynesia p. 216 figured also Williams p. 537 Made out of one piece but with four not as here two legs in Ashmolean [1887.1.556]
v. Firesticks Savage Island. Fire is obtained in this way in the Fiji Group according to Brackley p. 150 as well as in Hawaii. [1887.1.579]
vi. Two Nose Pipes. Similar pipes are in the Ashmolean Museum no 193 – 194 from the Friendly Islands as also from Fiji [1903.130.19 1-2 NB this wasn’t recorded until 1903 by Balfour in one of his detailed books on wind instruments]
vii. War stones 4 of native stalagmites one said to be from a clam shell the 6th imported as the black stone of which it is made does not exist on the Islands [6 of 1887.1.581-588]
viii. Arrow root stem Plat [sic][1887.1.559]
ix. Native Drill Savage Island [1887.1.539]
x. Plaits of human hair Savage Island Cf Wilkes U.S.A. Exploring Expedition V p. 48. 96. It is constituted the chief wealth of a rich man in Savage Island formerly [1887.1.549 or 1887.1.560]
xi Combs for Savage Island like Samoan Combs figured Williams p. 537 [1887.1.543-544]

[Page 2]
[Separate sheet of paper pasted in, appears to be notes on items listed on pages 1 and 3, possibly made at time of acquisition?]
From Savage Island
From Savage Island
This stone not found in Savage Island but in Samoa
From Savage Island
Plaited Hair Savage Island
Combs Savage Island
Combs Savage Island
Model of machine for preparing arrowroot Savage Island
Nose Pipes
Nose Pipes
Fish Hooks
Fish Hooks
Native Drills
Various kinds of native cloth all from bark of paper mulberry
Grooved beater common to all Polynesian Islands

[written sideways]
Spear Heads for Throwing [added note ‘Made 14-15 years ago’]
Fire Stick
Model of Canoe with Baler NB only two shells in original large white cowries
Stalagmite native
Black foreign
Clam shell [last 3 bracketed ‘War Stones’]
Native Pillows
Arrowroot Stem Plat [sic]
Net of Hibiscus Native manufacture
[NB not everything on this list appears on page 1 and page 3, eg spear heads appear to be missing, unless they are the things said to be stone axes?, also fish hooks appear to be only listed on page 2, possible matches are 1887.1.33-35]

[Page 3]
The Revd W.G. Lawes Savage Island (continued) [from page 1]
xii. Two stone axes one hafted and ornamented with Cowries and fastened up with (cocoa nut fibre) cord. This stone is not found in Savage Island and comes from Samoa, whence Savage Island is held to have been colonized. This particular Island in Samoa Group is Tutuila according to Rev’d Joseph King. [possibly 1887.1.64]
xiii. Model of machine for preparing arrowroot [1887.1.550 .1-2]
xiv Arrowroot Stem Plait [only one listed in accession books, not sure what has happened to second, see viii above]
xv. Net of Hibiscus Native Manufacture [1887.1.557]
xvi. Eight specimens of native cloth from Savage Island [One of 1887.1.561-9, 1887.1.573-574],
xvii. Woman’s Dress from Savage Island [last two bracketed ‘From Bark of Paper Mulberry’][1887.1.577]
xviii. Three Fans from Savage Island [1887.1.41-43]

Oct 31. 1873 The Rev’d W.G. Lawes
xix. Two bows from Niue (or Savage Island) & 8 three barbed arrows. These arrows & bows are not used in war but for shooting birds & bats both of which the natives eat The arrows are of pith wood with barbs of a hard wood fixed into the softer The bows of a third kind of wood. Guns are now beginning to supercede Bows and arrows. [Bows 1887.1.535-536; only five arrows found so far: 1887.1.540-542, 2012.29.1-2]
xx. A large seasnake. These snakes are seen on reef knotted together in masses the children often catch them, they are not poisonous. [Presumably retained by OUMNH]

Feb 10. 1874 A sale of some of the Revd W.G. Lawes’ Curiosities took place as per advertisement pasted on reverse. From this came
xxi. Cloth with black and rust coloured pattern like cloth given him in July with dot   price 5 sh. “Lot 7 of sale” [Probably one of the following 1887.1.561, 564, 567-9, 574]
xxii. Turbans 2 sh. [Cannot be matched, if it was made of barkcloth then it would match one of those but it isnt clear it was so I haven't]
xxiii. Model of double canoe “Lot 54 of sale price 14 sh. The only thing not from Savage Island. It came from one of the Penrhyn or Island Manihiki There are no double canoes on Savage Island. [1887.1.65]

[Page 4]

[Printed page]

Sale of Curiosities
From the South Sea Islands
Mr. J. Omer Cooper [1]
Will sell by auction at
Trinity School Room, Queen’s Road,
on Tuesday, February the 10th,
The Collection of the Rev. W.G. Lawes, late Missionary for twelve years at Niue (Savage Island) and who will shortly proceed to New Guinea. The collection consists of
Large Pieces of Native Cloth, Various articles of apparel, including feather head dresses, shell and other girdles, &c.,
Model house, model canoes,
War Clubs, Spears, various Native Implements
and Musical Instruments,
Stone Hatchets, stalagmite war stones,
Some beautiful specimens of pink coral, shells, baskets, native string, &c, &c, &c

The sale will commence at Six o’clock p.m., precisely.

[Page 5]

From the sale Rev’d W.G. Lawes Feb 1874
xxiv Model of House in Heathen Times “Lot 55” Price 1£ 1 sh. [1887.1.552]
xxv. Two spears of two different kinds of wood “Lot 57” Price 7 sh. [1887.1.44.1-2, one now destroyed]
xxvi. Two water bottles Price 5 sh. [1887.1.578 for both]
xxvii. Club fullsized Price 5 sh. [cannot be matched only miniature clubs are listed]
xxviii. Stone hatchet (4 sh) [cannot be matched]
xxix. Two beaters with anvil Price 1s 6d [either 1887.1.570, 570a, 571, or 2005.37.1][Anvil is 1887.1.572]
xxx. Full sized Beater price 3 sh. [either 1887.1.570, 570a, 571, or 2005.37.1]
xxxi. Drum with two Beaters (2s 6d) [1903.129.15, this was not accessioned with rest of Lawes collection but listed only by Balfour in musical instrument series]
xxxii. Snakes & Lizards (14 sh) [Presumably retained by OUMNH]
xxxii [sic] 2 war stones (5 sh) [2 of 1887.1.581-588]

[Page 6 blank]

[Page 7]
Things purchased at sale of curiosities from Niue (Savage) Island Sth Pacific
Collected by the Revd W.G. Lawes
Lot 7        Cloth                     5
Lot 21         Turbans                2
Lot 54        Double canoe model            14
Lot 55        House model in Heathen Times   1.1
Lot 57        Two spears                7
Lot 76        Water bottles                5
Lot 87        Club full sized                5
Lot 130    Hatchet stone                4
Lot 146    Two Beaters and anvil        1.6
Lot 148    Beater                    3
Lot 152    Drum                    2.6
Lot 263    Snakes                14
Lot 183    War stones                5  

Rly fare     6 sh 9d
Man        1.2d
Cab        1.6d
Food        1.10

[1] There appears to be a John Omer Cooper of Reading (possibly 1822-1912) who was an auctioneer and estate agent of Reading. There is certainly a Queens Road in Reading.

[Page 8 blank]

[Page 9]
Mr Rev’d W.G. Lawes Jan [or Jun?] 25 1876

[Note on side: A.B. Meyer on Relatives of Papuans and Negritoes P.S. Berlin G... [illegible] March/ 75 // [2 words illegible, possibly Messrs Barz...] 72 Sth Street Reading]

A case unnumbered contains a perfect Bower of New Guinea Bower Bird
2 Case Goura Pigeon & other birds, left leg tied over right = male Rt [ditto] left = female [both presumably retained by OUMNH]

3 Human skulls see previous letter [NB letter not recorded or surviving][presumably retained by OUMNH]
1 Kangaroo skull [presumably retained by OUMNH]
5 specimens of Native Pillow [these dont appear to be listed]
1 Hatchet [possibly 1887.1.68]
1 Hatchet Head [1887.1.580]
3 Stone clubs [possibly 1887.1.68]
1 armlet [?see below, 1887.1.548]
1 nose stick [cannot be matched]
2 Ladies Dresses [1887.1.575-576]
In spirit Lizards [illegible] 2 Bandicoots &c &c [presumably retained by OUMNH]
Also a Brown Paper Parcel for Boys in Reading [presumably retained by OUMNH]
Care of the [illegible] Burges
Grove House
West South Street

i. Armlet ticketed “Armlet worn by all native men and women at Port Moresby all natives seen by us there” [1887.1.548]
ii. Netted Bag made by women in Port Moresby and universally used by women along this coast for carrying every kind of Burden. They are carried suspended from forehead [1887.1.558]
iii. Ewer or a bowl at Womeli we saw the bones of its former proprietor carefully wrapped up in [illegible] bowl” Womeli is a deserted Shoriati [?] village about 13 miles from Port Moresby [presumably retained by OUMNH]
iv. A little further on was a tree up which was the remains of 3 [illegible, looks like horses?] was an other bowl of bones [presumably retained by OUMNH]
The teeth have either fallen out or have been taken out for a necklace and the jaw bone I could not find in either case, but as two jaw bones of children were found wrapped up in the roof of one of the houses, it is probable they were never put with the other bones
v. Five [?] specimens of native pottery Small water pot Pt Moresby Dish made by women Pt Moresby Water Pot ditto [1887.1.553-555, 2004.129.1]

[Page 10 blank]

[Page 11]
The Rev’d W.G. Lawes Oct 31. 1873
Two Bows from Niue Savage Island and eight 3 barbed arrows These arrows and Bows are not used in war but for shooting Birds & Bats, both of which they eat. The arrows are of pith wood with the barbs of a harder wood fixed into the softer  The bows of a third kind of wood. Guns are now beginning to supercede Bows & Arrows
Also a Sea Snake ... [illegible] on reef knotted together a lot of them, children often catch them, they are not poisonous.

Natives eat Land Crabs
Birds esp Pigeons
Taro roots cooked [illegible] good as from stuff of life
The Taro [illegible] Fish [2 words illegible] but fishing for a few months
Sugar Cane
Many Bananas
Papaw Apple
Sea slugs that bore in rocks
everything out of sea they eat
crayfish no lobsters Shrimps
Cocoa nuts not cut down since Xtianity
[insert] Arrow Root, not boiled [end insert]
No intestinal worms in Savage Island while it may in Samoa
? one to Papaw or to absence of breadfruit in Savage? Coral

[Along side above]
Breadfruit – [illegible] almost till on it in other islands as Samoa where it is abundant

[Page 12-13 blank]

[Page 14-15 blank]

[Page 16]
New Guinea
The Revd W.G. Lawes
Port Moresby
March 18 / 75 [illegible] 1875 June 26
1876 April 15

Everything boxed up. Place boxes & unfruitful [?] & letter of    Copy & unhealthy [?]
No birds of Paradise
No tree kangaroos
Kangaroos from as Australia [?]
Dogs and [illegible] “used to hunt Kangaroos not bark but howl
Pigs wild in bush, some down
Native Rat like Savage Isld [illegible]

Natives smaller than average South Sea Islander
men tie up       no more clothing are tatooed Sept nose bored
Women over girdles to knees more tatooed than men
her nose bored but nothing in nose usually
Men as boys polished stone through sept nose
-------- and women have ears bored in 2-3 places
Men hair long
Women when married short
Only occasionally polygamy
Aug 5 1876
vi [1] Netted Bag made by women at Port Moresby and universally used by women along this coast for carrying every kind of Burden. They are carried suspended from forehead. [1887.1.558]
vii. Women’s dress from Redscar Bay. Coloured ones thick as they are articles of trade with the natives & only worn by the young girls at their dances [1887.1.576]
viii. Women’s ordinary Dress Port Moresby [1887.1.575]
ix Nose stick Port Moresby [Cannot be matched]
x. 1. Skull of a Koiali chief from the village of Uromeli 121 miles in the interior from Port Moresby New Guinea obtained by Rev’d W.G. Lawes [presumably retained by OUMNH]
2. Skull of man from the Korali village of Momili New Guinea, obtained by Mr Revd W.G. Lawes. Of these skulls the Revd W.G. Lawes wrote [illegible] one house at Momili we saw the bones of its former occupant carefully wrapped up in a bundle and a little further on under a tree up which was the remains of 3 houses [?] was another bundle of bones .... No jaw bones I cd. not find, but as two jaw bones of children were found wrapped up in the roof of one of the houses it is probable they were never put with the other bones [presumably retained by OUMNH]
3 Skull from mth of Baxter River Boigu skull of an enemy belonging to Black inland Tribe Capt Runcie. [Presumably these human remains were retained by the OUMNH, they are not in the PRM]

[1] This is a continuation of page 9 list]

[Page 17 blank]
[Page 18-19 blank]
[Page 20-21 blank]

[Page 22]
Note in Description of Island of Nukulaelae by the Revd S.J. Whitmee [illegible]
As far as my knowledge of the heathen is an [?] of the Polynesian races goes every thing tends to prove that they were all spiritualists, although most of [illegible looks like you?!] believed that the spirits they worshipped took possession of the [illegible] objects

[Page 23]
Birds and other skins from New Guinea
Revd W.G. Lawes of Port Moresby New Guinea
Sept 6th. /77
Birds skins 53 + 1 head
Skins of Bats Pteropus 5 of which one [illegible] to be stuffed by me for Univ Museum
Mammals skins 8 of which 2 large cuscus, one middle sized one, & 1 Oct... [illegible] put up & 4 Oct.... left. What do with 46 [illegible]
Reptiles ditto [ie skins] 1
Pottery in fragments [Saw Reading Mercury Saturday Dec.8.1877 where it is said that the pottery is made in good quantities at Pt Moresby & exported to parts where it is not made where n return sago & ca... [illegible]
Red Stone
2 Portions of Dress
3 Kangaroo Skins with heads perfect

[in pencil] Sent to Canon Tristram Sept 18-1877
58 skins & of 177
7 [skins] of 176 [these 2 lines bracketed together ‘Birds’]

[back to ink] Besides this there are 7 bottles of various sizes containing
A. Young Echidna Lawesii
B. Large Bottle containing 4 New Guinea Rats 2 males 1 young 1 f... [illegible] 3 Petauristo [?] All 7 fit for dissection
C. Bottle or Jar with 3 Bats of which one is a Pteropus Fit for disssection
D. Jar with [crossed out word illegible] [insert] Perameles [end insert] only for stuffing
E. Jar with lizards and a young Bird fit for dissection
F. Jar with J... Mantides &c
G. small botle with insects in it

[in pencil] Bilideus breviaps

[Page 24-25 blank]

[Page 26]
Consignment from
Revd W.G. Lawes received Sept 6
[alongside above]
Notes from letter of May 4 1877 Somerset

All my collection of curios was packed in Port Moresby whilst Mr Lawes had fever & nothing is labelled and it is packed with other things [insert] Most of the curiosities were obtained on one voyage to China Strait & from places to the East of Hood Bay [end insert]
The specimens of carving are from O... [illegible] Bay Eastward
Two jars and some [insert] 41 [end insert] bottle containing various animal skins, reptiles, beetles &c from Pt Moresby
In one of the jars a young Echidna
The large female Cuscus is from Port Moresby
The yellow marked male ------ O.... [illegible] Bay
I have seen 2 or 3 females like the one sent but never a male. The males are probably marked like the yellow one sent as I have obtained many pieces of skin so marked but in different colours at Port Moresby. I think Revd Lawes has some pieces of fur of different kinds.
I should like to oblige Canon Tristram as far as I can but it must be in this case at any rate thro’ you. I place all the birds at your disposal to do with just as you think fit. If you wish to keep them all by all means do so, if you can let the worthy Canon have [insert] some [end insert] I shall be glad. They are all from Port Moresby except the Pigeons which I think are Nicobar pigeons, they are from Grange Island off Gable Ct. to the East of Hood Bay. The Goura pigeons are from the River Laloke 10 miles inland from Port Moresby. The sex is indicated by the tying of legs, left over right being always male. I think one or two of the little finch ... [illegible] one can [illegible] tied being probably males instead of females. the G... [illegible] parrots are I believe all males, the corresponding red being the female of the same species.
See Revd Macfarlane on Rivers of New Guinea in Collinson of Dec 2/76

[Page 27]
The Revd W.G. Lawes was in Niue when the “Fawn” Captain Hamilton visited the island in 1862.

[Glued in letter]
Nov 31st 1874
My dear Rolleston,
I rec’d your parcel yesterday containing the books for which please accept my warmest thanks. I thank you too for your kind note of this morning I am glad that the snake & lizard are of any value. The Bats, snakes & lizards all came from Niue. The rats too are indigenous & not imported.
I gather from your note that you have sent your photo, if so it has miscarried for I have not rec’d it. I have pleasure in enclosing mine – it is the best I have of myself. The Mr Lawes referred to by Dr ... (?) [1] as having been on Niue when the “Fawn” visited the island was myself. It was in 1862 not so very long ago
I am sorry to say my eldest boy has the measles – a mild favourable attack – but still unfortunate just now as it [insert] will [end insert] increase the anxiety of his mother in leaving them [insert] children [end insert] With very kind regards
Your sincerely
WG Lawes
Dr Rolleston

[1] NB this is by Lawes, not transcriber!

[Page 28]
Cook’s Voyages ii p. 5 1774
Williams Enterprise p 291 1837

[illegible] as to (Niue) Savage Island from the Revd W.G. Lawes Brackley p. 17 1873
[illegible] rich men If a man comes back to Island after going elsewhere to labour he gives away all he has gained before long. Some time back all the chiefs were clubbed it having struck the people that they did nothing & consumed a great deal
“Mr Lawes has from two old men with whom he went 4-5 miles away for yr own [2 words illegible] had never been so far away before, for fear of being killed &c
“The inhabitants who live inland are darker than those who live by the sea & bathe very much. Savage Island is a coral island, the [illegible looks like kangator] are volcanic
“Women [illegible] Samoa Wilkes ii p. 145 men do all the hard work
[insert] [illegible in Kingsmill v. p. 91 [end insert]
Samoan only Polynesian with S----
The [illegible] of the savage Island, figured by Wilkes ii p. 154 is not the Did... [illegible]
“The wealth of a man in Savage Island used to be estimated by the quantity of plaits of hair which he possessed
“Savage Islands see Williams 1887 p. 297 Certainly the most wretched & degraded of any natives I have ever seen except the aborigines of New Holland.

[Page 1]
From the Revd S.J. Whitmee
ii. From Gilbert Islands (Tavaim in Kingsmill Group Wilkes p. 88 v)
i. Corslet Similar to one figured Wilkes U.S.A. Exploring Expedition vol v p. 75 and described as well as figured p. 47-48. in Drummond N W [?] warriors l.c. also appears to be Kinlays p. 45 & [2 words illegible] p. 61 Drummond Island alias Tapouteouea [1884.31.36]
ii. Jerkin Cf Wilkes l.c. p. 49 – p. 93 said to have been only recently introduced [No match]
iii. Trowsers [Cannot be matched]
iv. Necklace ---- p. 48 [1884.76.15]
[insert] For Human Tufts TEETH?  in necklace see Wilkes p. 61 vol v For beads of cocoanut & shell Wilkes p. 96 [end insert]
v. ---- [presumably, ditto ie necklace] [1884.82.21]
vi. ---- [presumably, ditto ie necklace][1884.74.20]
vii. ---- [presumably, ditto ie necklace] [Cannot be matched]
viii. ---- [presumably, ditto ie necklace] [Cannot be matched]
ix. Cord of Human [sic] ---- p. 41 p. 96 said to be taken from female slaves [1884.48.41]
x. Sharks Teeth knife --- p. 47 & fig p. 75 & Williams [2 words illegible] 532 [1887.1.59]
xi ------ [presumably, ditto ie sharks teeth] sword ----- CF [2 words illegible] p. 206 Peru [1887.1.60]
xii. Small mat worn by a virgin on her head when walking out; hung from her shoulders after marriage until the birth of her first child when it is thrown away. Cf Wilkes p. 46 94 [1884.87.76]
xiii. War belt [1884.31.3]
xiv Four spider shells [Presumably retained in OUMNH]

[Page 2 blank]

[Page 3]
From the Revd J.S. [sic] Whitmee
iii. From Ellice Islands
i. Fishhooks [1887.1.469-471, 474-5, possibly 1887.1.36-40, 63, 2009.55.1]
ii. A coconut [1884.73.35]
iii. A hatchet ? from Toney Island see [illegible] Geograph [illegible] for 1871 p. 205 [1] [1887.1.478]

iv. From Samoa
i. Two pieces of bleached coral [Presumably retained in OUMNH]
ii. A fan [1887.1.472]
iii. A Basket. Figured Williams [2 words illegible] p. 537 1837 [1887.1.473]

[1] This hatchet is probably the one referred to elsewhere in Rolleston papers [NB provide cross ref] There are at least 21 letters from S.J. Whitmee to George Rolleston in the George Rolleston archive (Ashmolean Museum). This includes one dated Nov. 6 1872 which refers to "a few articles of Ethnological interest" sent to Rolleston, including a "hatchet" from the Ellice Islands (Tuvalu), which I think may be this axe. The letter reads: "Sir, I was deliberating a few days ago where to send a few articles of Ethnological interest now in my possession, in order to make the best use of them. A note in "Nature" of May 23rd on your efforts to extend the ethnological collection in the Ashmolean Museum confirmed a previously formed resolution to send them to Oxford. I am accordingly now sending, under the care of the Rev. J. King, of the Samoan Mission, the articles specified in the accompanying list. Mr King will probably reach England about May or June next. The articles form part of a rather large collection which I made during a cruise in the Pacific two years ago - the major portion of which has already been distributed amongst colonial and continental museums & private friends..."

[Pages 4-5 blank]
[Pages 6-7 blank]

[Page 8]
The Kings Mill Islanders use human skulls for drinking [illegible] Wilkes v 98
Knife [illegible] of [illegible] p. 103 & oil [illegible]
[Page 1]
Presented by the Rev. T.H.T. Hopkins Magdalen College [insert] July 31 1873 [end insert]
i. Two fair articles probably from New Zealand and probably from the Duke of Buckingham’s sale at Stow. Together with them is string a hollowed piece of bone ? human humerus [There is a possibility that one of these is 2008.9.1, there is no record of human remains from New Zealand from the OUMNH so the latter was probably retained by the OUMNH]
ii. Club from South Seas ending in spike conical proceded by coronet of spikes 6 deep. Also probably from Stow Sale M. Fyan [?] p. 222. Brunchley “Curacoa” Such as in the Ashmolean Museum from Fiji [1890.47.8]
iii. Club with 8 grooved raised zones also probably from Stow Sale – Such as the Rev S Whitmee gave one from Gilbert Isles. See Williams v 47 is in the Ashmolean Museum (from Friendly Islands [Cannot be matched]
iv. Bow with arrows headed with iron prismatic heads. Bow [2 words illegible] in middle & backed. Painted green, Black Yellow, dirty Red, arrows Red black yellow. 9 arrows. [see below for arrows, bow cannot be matched]
v. Two Bundles of Arrows [insert] metal heads [end insert] with Quiver. One set said to have come with a Tartar Bow which I have not; the other of much the same style as [insert] some of [end insert] the Tartar arrows, but having also some with blunt masses of cane at end, and not having any Chinese letters upon them. [The quiver must be 1890.47.7, the only quiver found with Hopkins name associated with it, the arrows with metal heads that might match iv or v are 2012.60.1-4, 2012.63.1-8, 2012.65.1-3, 2012.66.1, 2012.67.2-8 [23 in all] The total number of arrows that were acquired is unclear, they all seem to come from Asia]
vi. A Bundle of 6 long arrows not metal headed but either long cocoanut tree [insert] ? [end insert] points more than a foot long with or without sharks spines bound upon [illegible] as barbs. For arrows barbed with spikes of sharks see Museum G....proganas ii p. 22 1873 cf Yap in Caroline Island Wilkes ii p. 151 (Samoan Group Cook voyage i p. 82 cf Tanna [2011.105.1 - 3, 2012.31.1 and 2012.99.1, one left to find, all found unentered recently they all seem to come from Solomons]

[Page 2 blank]

[Page 3]
The Revd T. Hopkins
i. The fair articles from New Zealand most probably from Stow
ii. Club with [illegible] also most probably from Stow
iii. Bow Japanned with set of arrows?
iv. Arrows in [illegible] uncertain
v. Arrows which come with a Tartar Bow which not here
v [sic] [illegible]
v. [sic] [illegible] of British Guiana
vi. From Gravel near Marlow Bridge

[Pages 4 and 5 blank]

[Page 6]
For Bow & arrow in Polynesia see Ellis i 3 O Ed p. 220
Sandwich [bracketed together with ‘Amusement’]

Feejee  [bracketed together with ‘in War’]

Cook’s Voyages p 290 Easter Islanders same race as those of West [?] Islands spread over 1/4 of Globe

Hilor has Axe incised at Tauau Cook ii p. 81
Bow and Arrows---------
ends with hard wood John
Barbed some not

Savage Isles ii p.5 Cooks Voyages

Williams Enterprize [sic] p. 539 1833 In Tahiti & Society Islands [3 words illegible] and nose flattened

[Page 7]
Presented by the Rev’d T.H.T. Hopkins
Magdalen College
[seems to be a continuation of list given on page 3]
vii Two Bows probably from Guiana [Cannot be matched]
viii Two Spear heads from Gravel dug up in making Marlow Bridge [Cannot be matched]
ix. Sharks tooth knife such as came from Gilbert Islands presented by the Rev’d S.J. Whitmee & reported by Colonel Lane Fox p. 24 Primitive Warfare to come from Marquesas Tahiti Depeysters Island, B... [illegible], Kings MIll, R... [illegible] & Sandwich Islands, also in New Zealand Figured by Colonel Lane Fox fig 73 See also Wilkes vol v 47 U.S.A. Exped. [1890.47.5]

[The bit below is possibly referring to arrows at end of Page 1]
But exactly similar arrows are in Blackmore Museum labelled Melanesia and the Rev Joseph King tells me he has similar from Solomon Islands
But similar arrows to these are in the Ashmolean from (Guiana) South America and it is possible that these arrows belong to the Bow next in number viz vii. But the Solomon Islands had similar arrows also as the Ashmolean Collection & bows too Cook says of Tauna Darts bows & arrows are to them what [illegible] are to us. [illegible] arrows are made of reeds pointed with hardwood some are barbed & some not & those for shooting birds have 2, 3 or sometimes 4 points.

[Page 1]
Aug 31 1874
The Revd Joseph King presented a number of specimens of Polynesian Curiosities
i. “Five arrows, one of which was poisoned Solomon Islands” [2011.107.1-4, 2012.97.1]
ii. “One Mosquito Brush. The Badge of an Orator Samoa” [1891.61.21]
A Samoan native is figured with such a Brush in
This may have given Dean Swift the notion of the flapper used in Laputia [sic]
iii “One Samoan Bamboo Pillow” see Tu... [illegible] Polynesia 216 Williams p. 537 [2005.22.1]
iv. Six “Women’s Headdresses made of the ribs of the Cocoa nut Palm and worn in a way similar to the horn of Eastern Countries” [1891.61.22.1-3, 3 unentered]
v. “Tatooing Instrument These were formerly made of human bone (scapula)” [1891.61.23]
vi. “Sleeping tent or mosquito curtain. This hung up by the cord which is at the top of the Tent. The two pieces of wood are then put over the cord inside & at right angles with it so as to open out the tent and give it shape.” [1891.61.25]
vii. “Two Ladies Dresses (Hali [sic illegible] from head)” [1891.61.26 and 27]
viii. “Piece of Samoan Bark Cloth (Papyrus)” [1891.61.24]
ix. “Samoan mat of Pandanus Leaf made by women by hand” [Does not appear to have been accessioned yet]

[Page 2]
[Notes on dark blue paper, folded as letter, pasted in]
Polynesian Curiosities
5 [word crossed out and illegible] Arrows – 1 Poisoned (Solomon Islands)
1 Mosquito Brush (the badge of an orator)(Samoan)
1 Samoan Bamboo Pillow
Some womens head dresses made of the rib of a cocoa nut Palm - & worn in a way similar to the Horn of Eastern countries
1 Tatooing instrument These were formerly made of human bone (scapula)
1 Sleeping Tent or Musquito Curtain This hung up by the cord which is at the top of the tent. The two pieces of wood are then put over the cord inside and at right angles with it so as to open out the tent & give it shape
2 Ladies’ Dresses (Hak fr head)[illegible]
1 Piece of Samoan Bark Cloth (papyrus)
1 Samoan Mat of Pandanus leaf (made by women by hand)

[Page 3]
i. [Piece of cream paper stuck onto page] Fijian adzes from Buretta in Ovalaea They are all exactly like this [1915.25.92 & 93 from Moseley and Challenger Expedition]

Aug 2 1875 I am sending off a box to Kew by next mail with Admiralty Island Plants I have put with a small package containing a stone head adze from Humboldts Bay New Guinea, two spear heads of obsidian from the Admiralty Islands and an adze made of tri... [2 words illegible] also from the Admiralty Islands
With these are a Bushman’s poisoned arrow and a Great Bird of Paradise’s skin & a carving of the skinning of a Sea Elephant [?] done by the Harponeer of a America whaling schooner of [2 words illegible] down in storm from Heard Island with a knife and a skull of Hopester Sp’s
and Ballyezus maritimeus [?]

[pages 4 and 5 blank]

[page 6]
Nov 13 1874
Fijian adzes from Buritta in Ovalau they are all exactly like this [1915.25.92 & 93 from Moseley and Challenger Expedition]

[For a letter from Joseph King dated 28 August 1874 see GR/A/1, transcribed]

[Loosely transcribed September/ October 2012 by AP]

virtual collections logo

Supported by the John Fell OUP Research Fund


(c) 2012 Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford