Cook Collection - Tonga - 1768 -1780



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A collection of artifacts collected on the Tongan Islands during Captain James Cook's three voyages of discovery to the South Seas, during the period 1768 - 1780.

Cook's ships visited the islands for a few days in 1773 and then again briefly in June 1774. He named them the Friendly Islands and returned on his third voyage in Apri l-July 1777. Many specimens were collected from Tonga and many are specific to a particular voyage. Some items collected were of Fijian and Samoan origin, and this fact documents the pre-existing trade the Tongans had with their neighbours. Many body ornaments were collected, such as H000151- a small ivory human figure, probably strung on cord and worn as a neck ornament, and 3 shell necklaces H000116, H000117, H000152. Several kinds of pandanus mats were collected (H000098), as were many baskets of different styles and materials (H000102, a KATO MOSI KAKA beaded basket). Fly whisks, food preparation equipment, bowls, neckrests, noseflutes, panpipes, and various tools were collected, but the Australian Museum collection does not include examples of these. Some fishing equipment is present - a fish net H000144, and 11 fish hooks H000121- H000134. Combs collected were made from the midribs of coconut leaflets, intertwined with fine sennit cord to make decorative patterns (see Banks collection H000351)


Baskets; Body ornaments; Indigenous artefacts; Pacific Island Culture

Cooking equipment; Fishing equipment

Exploration; Explorers

James Cook

Coverage Spatial

Samoa; Tonga; Tongan Islands; Fiji

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40