Enfilade

New Book | Artefacts of Encounter: Cook’s Voyages

Posted in books by Editor on December 14, 2016

From the University of Hawaii Press:

Thomas, Nicholas Thomas, Julie Adams, Billie Lythberg, Maia Nuku, and Amiria Salmond, Artefacts of Encounter: Cook’s Voyages, Colonial Collecting and Museum Histories (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2016), 364 pages, ISBN: 978 0824  859350, $68.

9781877578694The Pacific artefacts and works of art collected during the three voyages of Captain James Cook and the navigators, traders, and missionaries who followed him are of foundational importance for the study of art and culture in Oceania. These collections are representative not only of technologies or belief systems but of indigenous cultures at the formative stages of their modern histories, and exemplify Islanders’ institutions, cosmologies, and social relationships.

Recently, scholars from the Pacific and further afield, working with Pacific artefacts at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge (MAA), have set out to challenge and rethink some longstanding assumptions on their significance. The Cook voyage collection at the MAA is among the four or five most important in the world, containing over 200 of the 2000-odd objects with Cook voyage provenance that are dispersed throughout the world. The collection includes some 100 artefacts dating from Cook’s first voyage. This stunning book catalogues this collection, and its cutting-edge scholarship sheds new light on the significance of many artefacts of encounter. Published in association with Otago University Press.

 

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