The Malangan collection (1885-1895): New Ireland, Papua New Guinea
The Malangan collection, acquired between 1885 and 1895, is one of the earliest in the world as well as one of the best, representing a wide variety of stylistic forms. The Malangan was an elaborate ceremonial system, focused mainly on the final rites for the deceased, and also on initiating boys who were to replace the dead as the clan members. The artefacts used in the ceremonies include various masks, free-standing figures, wall plaques of different forms, doll-like human figures, as well as other figures representing fish, birds, snakes, and supernatural beings.
The bulk of this collection was made by Captain Thomas Farrell and his wife Emma, Richard Parkinson and his wife Phoebe Parkinson (the daughter of a Samoan Princess and sister of Queen Emma). The collectors were plantation owners and traders and some of the first Europeans to settle in the Gazelle Peninsula in New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Ceremonial objects; Indigenous artefacts; Late 19th century; Masks
New Ireland, Papua New Guinea