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Pacific collections at Glasgow Museums

Glasgow Museums Pacific collection contains just over 3000 objects from across the region collected from the late 18th century to the present day, including a significant number of rare or unique artefacts of historical interest.

Pat Allan explaining the use of turtle bone to form the blade of an axe from Tuvalu.

Pat Allan (Curator of World Cultures at Glasgow Museums) explaining the use of turtle bone to form the blade of an axe from Tuvalu.

The earliest known object from the Pacific is a Maori free-standing ancestral figure, one of only six acknowledged to exist, brought to Britain after 1780 by Midshipman Samuel Folker. Also in the collection are the only known surviving ceremonial turtle posts from Dauar Island, part of a large donation from the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea gifted by Robert Bruce in 1889. Bruce was a Glasgow ship’s engineer and London Missionary Society teacher who lived and worked on Mer Island with his family.

In addition to historical artefacts, the collection boasts fine examples of contemporary Pacific art including works by Tom Deko and Chimbu artist Mathias Kauage OBE, both of Papua New Guinea, and pieces by Alick Tipoti of Torres Strait Islands.

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Review Of Pacific Collections In Scottish Museums
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Introduction To Pacific Collections
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