Reverend William Gray Vanuatu Collection



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70+ objects (plus 5 sets of bows and arrows of uncertain number) collected during service as a Presbyterian missionary based on Tanna in the (then) New Hebrides. These include weapons, masks, ritual and magical objects, ornaments, tapa cloths, pots, model canoes, and musical instruments; a few objects were obtained by Gray from Rev. H.A. Robertson who was based on Erromanga.

All have been photographed, as have all other objects from Vanuatu in the SA Museum collections. Researched by Barry Craig (including field trip 1997). Publications: Craig, B. 2003 Repaint the drum. Records of the South Australian Museum 36(2): 115-133. 2007. To 'Paddle our own canoe': The Rev William Gray Collection in the South Australian Museum. In, Re-presenting Pacific Art, Eds K. Stevenson and V-L. Webb. Adelaide: Crawford House Publishing Australia. Pp.6-27. Diaries of Rev. William Gray and his wife are in the Mortlock Library, South Australia. Related external collections: Rev. H.A. Robertson collection in the Redpath Museum, McGill University, Montreal. See: Barbara Lawson 1994 Collected Curios. Missionary Tales from the South Seas. Montreal: McGill University Libraries.


Anthropological specimens; Bows and arrows; Canoes; Ceremonial objects; Masks; Models; Musical instruments; Ornaments; Pots; Tapa cloths; Weapons

Artefacts; Indigenous peoples; Water transport

Ethnographic; Tanna; Vanuatu; William Gray

Ethnology; Indigenous artefacts

Reverend H.A. Robertson; Reverend William Gray

Coverage Spatial

From Tanna, Vanuatu to Malekula, Vanuatu; Central Vanuatu; Southern Vanuatu

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:41

2011-03-18 17:41