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Traders and Collectors: Richard Parkinson and Family in the Bismarck Archipelago, P.N.G.

Pacific Arts Association
Traders and Collectors: Richard Parkinson and Family in the Bismarck Archipelago, P.N.G.
Author(s): Jim Specht
Pacific Arts,
No. 21/22 (July 2000), pp. 23-38
Published by: Pacific Arts Association
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Traders and Collectors: Richard Parkinson and
Family in the Bismarck Archipelago, P.N. G.
Jim Specht
Visiting Fellow, Branch or Anthropology, Australian Museum
Richard Parkinson and his young wire Phebe
arrived in the Bismarck Archipelago in 1882 to join
Phebe's older sister, Emma Forsayth and Emma's
companion, Thomas Farrell in the Duke of York
Islands.1 Over the next 30 years, these four people
were to play critical roles in filling museum storage
rooms with artifacts from the region. This present
paper is a preliminary exploration of their collecting
activities in the Bismarck Archipelago. Between 1875
anrl flip start nf rhp C^rpat \X/ar in TQT/i. thp recrion
yielded tens of thousands of artifacts to museums
and private collectors. Many of these items came
from visits by expeditions sent out from Germany,
the USA, and elsewhere (for example, Fischer 1981;
Welsch 1998). Comparatively little has yet been writ
t-<=»»-> okrvi 1 * fkpcp pvnprl itmnc it r\np r>r»t nf
so frequent that "Melanesia was alive with scientif
ic expeditions... at times resembling Brighton Beach
on a warm summer day" (Welsch i998:vol.I, 565).
Even less has been written about the work of the
Parkinsons, Emma Forsayth, and Thomas Farrell.
They were all long-term residents who were not con
strained by expedition schedules and the demands
of distant sponsors. At the same time, they were con
various ways; making collections for sale to muse
111115 ailU UUllCClUià Wd.b 1U1 L11C 111UÔL pdl L d 5UU31UWIJ
activity. By the time that the expedition period' of
anthropology was under way from the 1890s
l„ /WL! U ,„„o IT , ,/r,\
\ ** V/"1 * )f? ] — j
acquired thousands of artifacts for museums in
Australia and Germany. Between 1880 and 1911, they
and their family members sent over 5,000 artifacts
to the Australian Museum in Sydney alone.
Of the four, Parkinson is the best known for his
extensive writings about the region, in particular for
hk massive volume Dreissitr lahre in der Siidsee
(Parkinson 1907, 1999).2 Whereas Parkinson
received international recognition for his studies
1 1 « 1 • r 1. . . . 1 .1 J__!i „ 1
dilCl aUlUldlMlip, ill/Ill. Ul HIV- UU1V-1 L111V-N- V-WllLHL»ULV.Vi
to the literature about the archipelago, though each
made their own special contribution through their
:ollecting activities and local knowledge (Robson
[973 provides a popular overview of their lives and
hmma (1850-1913) and rhebe (1863-1944) were
mrrkf-prc A mpririn Tnnoc Pr\p inrl ^imr\on
O j
Le'utu Talerale of rhe chieflv Malietoa family. After
an education in the USA, Emma returned to Samoa
and married James Forsayth, a trader and schooner
a • i . _ nri_ _
dvvuu ni i vjpia \ivwmuii Ly/j'jj—jvj. ± iiidiiia^c
produced one son, J.M.C. Forsayth. His father was
lost at sea and after a while Emma entered a rela
tionship with Thomas Farrell, at that time a bar
owner, trader, and ship owner based in Apia. Emma
joined Farrell on several of his voyages, including
one to the Duke of York islands. In 1878 they dis
posed of their respective Samoan interests and sailed
to the Bismarck Archipelago to work as traders and
labor recruiters for the German plantation and trad
ing company J.C. Godeffroyund Sohn. During 1878
the company was superseded by the Deutsche
Handels-und Plantagen-Gesellschart der Siidsee
Inseln zu Hamburg (Kennedy 1974:22). Farrell's
employment with the new company ended in 1882
after he had made so much money out of the disas
trous colonization project of'La Nouvelle France' in
southern New Ireland (Niaux 1936) that he was able
to set up his own trading and labor recruiting busi
ness (Sack and Clark 1983:64). Emma assisted him
until his death from tuberculosis in 1887, when she
took over the business and changed its name to E.E.
Forsayth & Co. (Sack and Clark 1983:111).
Richard Heinrich Robert Parkinson (1844-1909)
fPirr t^ axaoc Knrn in thp Dnrh\f nf rhl pcwia in
Denmark (Specht I999:xv). Little is known of
with Johann Kubary changed his life. At that time
Kubary was a collector and naturalist in the Caroline
lOicLlllla VVU1yuav.iv anu v^iauv
1983:94). Parkinson applied to the company and was
appointed to Samoa as a manager and surveyor.
July 2000 23
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There he encountered the Coe family and in 1879
married Emma's younger sister Phebe. Parkinson's
emolovment with the comoanv ended in 1881. and
in 1882 he and Phebe responded to an invitation
from Emma to join her and Farrell in the Duke of
York Islands. Emma's son and her niece accompa
—A k„
— —— ~
members of the family, including Le'utu, mother of
Emma and Phebe (Robson 1973:32—33,155).
By the time the Parkinsons arrived, Farrell and
Emma were operating on their own, and Farrell was
also in partnership with the Sydney-based trading
company Mason Brothers (Biskup 1974:23;
Langdon 1968:5). Farrell set up several traders in the
nirnmplirrn o m Anrt «rlirxm iifprA Ortotw \/f/-»iit-r»n
senior and his son. In February 1882 Farrell had res
v^uv.u ljjv_ iYiuuiwiio iiuiii Liiv. uioaoiiwuj v-uiuiij ui j_,a
Nouvelle France (Biskup 1974:67-69). Farrell want
ed the Moutons to establish a coconut plantation for
him, but Mouton senior declined and opened a store
for Farrell at Ravalien on the New Britain mainland
(Biskup 1974:20, 67). Farrell's vision of setting up a
plantation was revived with Parkinson's arrival. After
a reconnaissance or the east New Britain coastline,
Parkinson selected the Kininigunan area and set up
base at Ralum. (Fig. 2)
Parkinson's choice of location was probably influ
enced by more than the look of the land. At this time
a German named Coenen was already trading at
Ralum (Biskup 1974:69). Earlier still, in 1877, the
English explorer-cum-trader Wilfred Powell built a
house there while he explored and collected around
New Rrirnin fPowell t8S?:vqV Powell was nor the
first outsider to set up residence in this area, for mis
sionary George Brown had based one of his Fijian
teachers there in 1876 (Salisbury 1970:22; Deane
1933:20). Whereas Powell, Coenen and the mission
occupied small parcels or land appropriate to their
limited activities, Farrell, Emma and Parkinson
began the process of land alienation on a massive
scale, oy i55b tney naa 250 acres unaer cultivation
(Specht I999:xvii), and by 1893 this had increased to
_ . /c _1- 1 n _ \ T7 11 1 1.
av-i v_o v,^diioL7 ni y ly/u.ou/. a a11v.11 uiuu^m A)w
men from Buka to help clear the land at Ralum,
while Parkinson engaged local Tolai to assist in
v.Aciiaiigv< iui lu uav.v,u aiiu uv-L-aoiuiiai icaou
(Parkinson 1887:78). Emma chose Ralum as her
home until she left New Britain. Richard and Phebe
set up home at nearby Malapau until 1907, when
they moved to their own plantation at Kuradui.
Following Farrell's death in 1887, Emma selected
as her companion ship's captain and recruiter
Agostino Stalio (1854-1892), whom she had met on
i r <->i / t~\ 1
nie iciuiii vuyagc iiuiii oyuiicy 111 iooj vivuu;>ul1
1973:138,143). Emma's luck with partners failed once
more when Sralio was killed on Nupïiria Island while
taking part in a mission to seize the killers of Emma's
brother John (Robson 1973:170-174). In 1893 Emma
married Paul Kolbe, an official with the German
aumiiiibirauuii ^rvuubuii ly73:170—iou;. cmmas
changing relationships obviously confused staff at
the Australian Museum in Sydney about her mari
tal status. Although she signed herself as Mrs
Forsavth in her earlv letters, the Museum registers
recorded her as 'Mrs Farrell' until her marriage to
Kolbe. The Museum Curator, Robert Etheridge,
Figure i. Richard Parkinson (courtesy of Museum fur
Volkerkunde, Berlin)
24 Pacific Arts
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annotated her letter of 29 April 1897 with the com
ment 'From Mdme E.E. Kolbe, otherwise Mrs
rui&dyiu, UU1CIW15C ivii5 idiicii \i\rvLoy9 AV//AOy/7*
From 1907 onwards Emma began to wind up her
business interests in the archipelago, and the Kolbes
Sydney. They both died in Monte Carlo in 1913
(Robson 1973:214-215).
Parkinson's health was deteriorating badly. In
1901 he visited Pohnpei to recuperate from severe
attacks of malaria, and staved with Vice-Governor
Hahl (Sack and Clark 1980:80). In her interview
with Margaret Mead, Phebe stated that his major
(Mead 1964:193). Parkinson's correspondence of
1908—1909 with George Dorsey at the Field Museum
in Chicago reveals that he was virtually a cripple and
required surgical work on one of his legs (Specht
i999:xviii—xix). Parkinson died in July 1909 follow
ing a horse buggy accident. Phebe remained in New
Britain at Kuradui until Australia expropriated the
plantation in 1922. During the Japanese occupation
of the Bismarck Archipelago she lived in New
Ireland, where she died in 1944 (Robson 1973:
In late 1885 or early 1886, Johann Kubary arrived
to work for the trader Eduard Hernsheim on
Matupit island, across Blanche Bay from Ralum
near present-day Rabaul, and presumably the
friendship with Parkinson was renewed. Parkinson's
extra-curricular activities in collecting artifacts and
studying the indigenous people strained his rela
tionship with Emma, however, and in 1890 he joined
the German New Guinea Company as a collector
1 / A /-» Oil 1 1
aiiu buivcyui 10^0.4^, oacis. dim ^idiK.
1983:108). During his time with the company, the
responsiDinty tor managing tne plantation tell on
Phebe (Robson 1973:168). Parkinson travelled wide
ly for the company and continued his writings, with
almost half of his work published between 1890 and
1899, when he returned to work for E.E. Forsayth &
By the time that Richard and Phebe arrived in
the archipelago, trade in native artifacts was already
under wav. From I7QI onwards, shins on the
Australia-Asia route frequently passed through the
area and had contact with its inhabitants. In 1826,
f-hCy- rh cfr\nnp/^ fil/p r\n (aa/I mrl unfpr it
Wallis Island in Gower Harbour on New Ireland. In
addition to food, the villagers brought out in their
Figure 2. Richard Parkinson on Ralum plantation on market day (courtesy of Museum Rir Volkerkunde Berlin)
July 2000
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canoes "shell fishhooks and a variety of other curiosi
ties" which they traded for "various articles of iron
1 » /<"». .1 1T->*1 n \ Wrt 1
wuirv yoLdLiidiii diiu. iyyo./ij. w îidiciû
began to exploit the area from 1799, and at the
L ■ ^1 : j —^1 „ r>„^
Hunter in the Duke of York Islands was one of the
(Gray 1999:26).3 This popularity among sailing ves
sels had its disadvantages, however, as they inadver
_l.. C 1 r* d —1__ „f _u_ c.
ivii■%-xJ lv-/1 wv V» 1 1 iwj. vj vvyi J j 11 iv K__/c
Patrick observed in 1826 that the canoes that came
off to meet the ship "had very few cocoanuts or
curiosities with them, for which they asked such an
extravagant price that we made no purchases of
them" (Statham and Erickson 1998:72).
In 1838, the british whaler Coronet traded hoop
iron, cotton, and 'strips of red shirt' for arrows,
spears, and clubs in the Tabar-north New Ireland
irea (Gray 1999:31). By 1840 beachcombers were liv
ing on iNew Ireland, witn a group or eighteen desert
ers from Sydney ships living in southern New
Ireland (Maude 1966:194). In 1862 the 5««was trad
ing tor bows and arrows, and in 1872 the A.R. Tucker
it New Hanover acquired "bracelets and beads,"
musical instruments, and "spears, bows and arrows,
miniature canoes and other ornaments" (Gray
[999:34'31)- According to Gray (1999:31), the whalers
encouraged the rapid "expansion in the making of
landicrafts, with the sale of baskets, clubs, spears,
dows and arrows, shells and hshhooks," some of
which were used on board ship while others were
cept as curios.
1 hus, by the 1870s, when traders set up business
n the region and George Brown established his mis
sion station at Port Hunter, the commoditization of
ocal goods was already under way in some areas. In
:he initial stages, the local people sought red cloth,
?lass, and hoop iron in exchange, but by 1880 they
^referred knives, axes, and firearms (Hempenstall
yjb-.YZ',). iNot long arter rarKinsons arrival, tne
rolai people of east New Britain were making arti
acts for sale to visiting naval vessels (Firth 1986:45),
hough whether Parkinson or Farrell had any role in
his is unclear.
1 he Australian Museum's involvement in acquir
ng Pacific Islands' artifacts began in the 1840s and
:ontinued irregularly over the next 40 vears (Snecht.
980; Thomsett 1993). In 1856, the Museum spent
£40 for 127 artifacts from the French missionaries
Ko cp r\ r\ ti \Y/nr>n I o rl/ I c I n ci in Ponno ( \nprnt rnQri-n I
In 1857 the Museum acquired "a richly ornamented
and coloured mask from the natives of New Ireland,
and a tomahawk, with a blade of obsidian, from the
Admiralty Islands presented by Captain bpurling
of the brig Vernon (Specht 1980:8, 31). Following
Brown's establishment of his mission at Port Hunter
in 1875, artifacts from the Bismarck Archipelago
started to arrive in some quantity, as Brown sent
items in 1876 and 1877 (Bolton 1980:46).
In 1877 a nice young fellow called Powell
amvea in tne uuKe or ïorK isianas ana stayea witn
the Brown family (cited in Webb 1995:414, footnote
36). The 'nice young fellow' was the English explor
sr and trader Wilfred Powell, who set up house at
Ralum on New Britain and spent nearly three years
travelling around the coast of New Britain. While
returning from a visit to the western end of the
island, he was shipwrecked off Cape Lambert and
:<! 1 1 • r t i i-i t
1U3L liCctllJ C V y LllJLllg Ui LUC ri.ll Llli UpUlUglL-d.! LUI"
lection made on this side of the island... Luckily I
hiad sent a large collection to Sydney, of clubs, spears,
:tc." (Powell 1883:245). What happened to this col
lection is not known.
Emma and Farrell soon recognized the commer
çai value of local artifacts. In 1880 the Australian
Museum purchased through Mr D. Wilson of
Mason Bros, a collection of mainly Bougainville and
Mew Britain natural history specimens and 64 arti
Pacts collected by 'Mrs Farrell' (register numbers
^.8574^.8637/2) for £7-10 and £15 respectively,
rhis acquisition consisted of bows, arrows, clubs, a
I 1 j 1 _ 1 . rc. 1 1 it
îgure. In the following year the Museum bought
mother 73 items from 'Mrs Farrell' covering New
Ireland, Bougainville, and the Admiralty Islands
'reg. nos. A.11777-A.11849). These included (in
iddition to bows, arrows, and clubs) several obsidi
m-tinned snears. baskets, lime pnnrrk fiçhhnnkc
ind seven "clay pipes of native make" from
Bougainville. The price of this acquisition is not
With the exception ot 25 items that were
exchanged with museums in Adelaide and Berlin,
he collections acquired from Emma and George
3rown were lost in 1882. After the Sydney Inter
îational Exhibition held in the Garden Palace in
879, the Australian Museum transferred its anthro
pological collections into the building. In
l6 racihc Arts
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September 1882 the building and the Museum's col
lections were destroyed by fire (Bolton et al. 1979;
McKeon 1992).
Figure 3. Wooden figure, painted in red, black and
white. Buka Island, Papua New Guinea. Purchased in
1886 from Captain Thomas Farrell. AM registration
no. E.6029
Following the fire, the Museum set about
rebuilding its anthropological collections. The first
• _ _ c n • • l xt n. •
niajui acv^uioiuuii) iiuiii i tcvv vjuiiiva^ vyao
acquired through Mason Bros, in early 1883. Farrell
may not have been involved in this transaction, for
when the Jessie Kelly visited Blanche Bay in May 1883,
Farrell advised Captain William Hamilton that he
had resigned from the company (Langdon 1968:5).
In March 1883 Richard Parkinson sold to the
Australian Museum ten human skulls from Samoa,
Kiribati, Vanuatu (including Malakula), and the
MortlockIslands (reg. nos. A.i4325-A.i4334).^ Ihe
price paid for these is unknown, as there appear to
be no surviving records of the transaction. In the
camp vpor Mr n^virl w;i cr»n (nrpci 1 m oKI \T f camp
✓ M J
man who had negotiated the sale of artifacts and nat
ural history specimens on behalf of 'Mrs FarrelF in
iô5o; arrangea ror trie saie or 20 iNew oritain ciuds
to the Museum for £10 (reg. nos. A.16613-A.16632).
According to Robson (1973:138), Emma visited
Sydney in that year and the clubs may have been sold
on her behalf.5 It is also possible that these clubs
originated rrom w lirrea rowen or some otner trad
er traveller.
In January of the following year Farrell wrote to
the museum offering natural history specimens and
1,864 artifacts from Buka, New Ireland, New
Britain, and the Admiralty Islands. The consign
ment was shipped aboard the schooner Bella
Brandon and was accompanied by a list of artifacts
written by Parkinson. Farrell's letter, also in
Parkinson's hand-writing, instructed the Museum
rhar h enrefnrrh all rnnsianmpntc nf artifarrs from
himself or Parkinson were to be treated as coming
from both of them (AMS8, 55/1884; reg. nos.
B.662—B. 1092). This consignment was less impres
sive than the actual numbers imply, for 1,545 °f the
items were arrows; in fact, only 105 objects were not
arrows, bows, or clubs. The Museum paid Farrell £14
fnr fkp notiim 1 kicfnrir cnpnmpnc inrl -Cr/C fnr fkp
In 1884 the Museum acquired another consign
ment of 154 artifacts and eleven jars of natural his
^11 ^ \tq„, t-^i—1
New Britain, and the Admiralty Islands for a total
cost of £27 14s 6d. This collection consisted pre
July 2000 27
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dominantly of clubs and obsidian tipped spears (reg.
nos. B.3530-B.3683). Although the Museum records
»— 'A/f- a
lot must have come from Richard. Many of these
items were subsequently exchanged by the Museum
(.e.g., von Jttugei in 1085; (^lgliogli in 1889; the muse
um in Noumea in 1898; J. Garstang in 1905; the
Toronto Museum in 1906; K. Kennedy in 1919; and
the Canterbury Museum in 1928).
In 1885 rarrell and Parkinson combined their
efforts and offered natural history specimens and
nearly moo artifacts for £ko, but accepted the
Museum's offer of £65 for the lot. More than half of
this consignment consisted of arrows (800), spears
(366), bows (71), and paddles, clubs and 'painted
ornaments — held in the hand' from Buka Island
\iiyj ^reg. nos. D.0714-D.5904, D.0990-D.9134;.
rarrell was back again in 1886, ottering over 1500
items from the Admiralty Islands, Buka (Fig. 3) and
New Ireland (many of the latter being malagan
items). The Museum purchased about 1100 items
(reg. nos. E.499—E.1402) in two transactions for a
total price of £225, though it appears to have valued
the total collection at about £320. It accepted only
14 Buka paddles, and declined to take 394 Buka pad
dles and clubs. No explanation for this refusal is
offered in the documents that survive, though one
might suspect that the Museum felt that such large
quantities of similar items were not really helpful or
useful. Whatever the reason for the refusal, Farrell
[eft some of the unpurchased items at the Museum.
r„ ,o„o »u„ \/[...— j —o d..i i ji i
dancing clubs' attributed to an 'Old Collection' that
nad been "Left by late Captain Farrell 'pro bono
Dublico'" (reg. nos. E.7912-E.8109). The register
records that these came "Partly from the Ethnology
Hall wall and partly from cellar.' What happened to
:he other 196 items not acquired by the Museum in
[886 remains unclear.
The hnai transaction directly with Farrell
accurred in May 1887, just before his death, when
the Museum purchased "A collection of Ethnology
From the South Sea Islands as agreed" for £60. This
icquisition is problematic, because after the 1886
icquisiuon no more rarren items were registered
in til 1891 (see below), and those registered in 1898
— u„ c I! / 1 \
^ixxxwxx Ct^.vy.
rhe 1887 acquisition could have contained many or
ill of the items registered in later years as 'Old
Collection, many of which originated from the
bolomons and bismarck Archipelago, but this is
Following the 1887 purchase there was a gap of
. 1 *1 _n ___! _ . 1. .
lin v_ y caio uiiiii xuyu vviiv^ii i aiiviiiowii ociii uiv.
Museum 24 human skulls in exchange for a copy of
the Pictorial Atlas of Australia. In 1891, Farrell's
replacement, Stalio, donated two items (reg. nos.
F 2088—F 2080^ Tn fhp cam** vpar flip Mncpiim r\oirl
Emma £30 for 218 items from the Bismarck
Archipelago, north coast New Guinea, the
Solomons, the Trobriand Islands and the Papuan
Gulf (reg. nos. E.3320-E.3537), which had been
"Collected by the late Captn Farrell — by request."
By now Parkinson was working for the German New
Guinea Company and may have been constrained
by his terms of employment not to sell or donate to
any organization other than those in Liermany. No
such restrictions applied to Emma and in 1895, as
Madame Kolbe, she presented a large Admiralty
T„1 1„ J ( T? r>_ .1:
Fig.67; Moore and Turner 1968:27). In the next two
years she made donations of Samoan tobacco and
kava and its associated utensils (reg. nos.
E.5501-E.55505, E.6155-E.6162), presumably
acquired during her visit to Apia with her husband
in 1895 (Robson 1973:186).
In 1899 Parkinson left the German New Guinea
Company, and in the same year presented to the
Museum a snear and snear thrower from the Senile
region of New Guinea (reg. nos. E8762—E8763).
This marked the end of Parkinson's contributions to
the Museum's collections, though he continued cor
respondence with Curator Robert Etheridge Jnr for
several more years and visited Sydney in 1906 (RP
to iJorsey 14/11/06;. In 1901 Lmma made her hnal
donation of 12 items associated with the production
af shell money free. nos. E.9931—E.9942). In 189";
Paul Kolbe made his only donation to the Museum,
jf shell ornaments from the Arawe Islands
Parkinson's last letter to the Museum appears to
lave been written in December 1903 in response to
, c— — 1 auc.
,3/i9°4)- In the following year the Museum secre
:ary S. Sinclair rather peremptorily wrote to
Parkinson asking him to return "anv keexï rankc nr
30xcs of bottles belonging to the Museum that you
nay have on hand" for collecting natural history
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specimens (AMS6,79/1905). In a postscript, Sinclair
asked Parkinson to check also whether Madame
Kolhe helrl anv Museum rollerrinp enninment.
There is no indication whether Parkinson or Emma
responded to this demand. The Museum's last acqui
ciMnn A-/-vm t^l~i n r\ r\ Pnrl/incnn fomi_
lies was in 1911, when Emma's son J.M.C. Forsayth
donated six masks from the Cape Orford area of
XT nil r Drifflîn'r r/M^U ( fûrt n/"vr C TATaO
One name stands out by its absence from these
transactions: that of Phebe. Throughout his corre
er\r\nr]*=»n<~i=» \xnt-h rhf* Aiicrrolion N/Tnc^iim Porl^incon
did not acknowledge the contributions of his wife.
Yet she travelled widely with him, made collections
of artefacts and natural history specimens and pro
vided information about them for various museums,
and packed consignments for freighting (Robson
1973:221; Mead 1964). Phebe does not appear to have
corresponded regularly with overseas institutions
and scholars or to have contributed to the growing
body of scientific and anthropological literature
about the Bismarck Archipelago. Her collecting
activities, however, continued after Richard's death.
t i . i. • _ J £ : t : 1
Ill 311i_ UUU11U,U nguiv.
hafen on the south coast of New Britain, and masks
in the Mount Varzin and Baining Mountains areas
of the Gazelle Peninsula in 1913-14. I hese she sent
to the Museum fur Vôlkerkunde in Leipzig (Gunn
1997:20, 26). Richard had promised the Field
1 c/^i 1 m 1 n f hir^orrr» o larcrp Rainina mack anrl after
o o
his death Phebe honored this promise (Mead
There is a discernible pattern in the Australian
Museum's acquisitions from Farrell, Parkinson, and
Emma and her family between 1880 to 1911. Up to
the time of Farrell's death in 1887, all transactions
1-tr col/=» 0fi-pr hie wac r»f itpmç
that he had collected which Emma offered to the
Museum in 1891. The number of items, also,
declined dramatically. Between 1884 and 1886, the
Museum received over 4,600 artifacts from Farrell
and Parkinson. After 1886, the Museum received
onlv 2S7 from Emma, Parkinson, Agostino, Kolbe
and J.M.C. Forsayth combined (this excludes the
mystery acquisition of 1887 and the 194 items from
Farrell registered in 1898). Farrell and Emma had
moved to the archipelago to make money, and did
so in whatever way they could (cf. Biskup 1974;
Niaux 1936). It is not surprising that they regarded
the local artifacts and natural history specimens as
commodities for trade and profit. When Farrell and
Emma reached the Duke of York Islands, they had
some capital from the sale of their Samoan interests.
But the setting up of their own business in trading
and recruiting and the establishment of the Ralum
plantation probably required not just capital but
also a cash now. Parkinsons plantation activities
included experimentation with crops and animal
stock that did not yield an early profit or even much
income (Sack and Clark 1983:164; Specht I999:xvii).
[t would have taken some time for these activities to
j ... v.„Uv. v^
for copra, it would have taken several years before
the plantation yielded harvests. It was in these years
of waiting that the major sales of artifacts and nat
Lirai history specimens were made to the Australian
Museum. The artifacts were, perhaps, a form of tern
porary cash crop to ensure financial viability of the
ventures, though we have no indication of the prof
it margin (if any) that they yielded.7
Parkinsons interests were more scientific.
Emma urged him "to make money and use all his
hriiinç and pdnrafinn " (Mead TQ^/4!TQoV Rut for
Parkinson the collections that he and Phebe made
r • r. • i_ r_..
WUC 1UI U3C cto gII lO LU» <xo ^AUiaii^û lui
books, and as means for meeting obligations and
paying debts (Mead 1964:200-201; Specht 1999:
xxiv). His first publication about the archipelago
(1887) showed an eclectic mind and range or inter
ests. These soon became more focused on the nat
ural history of the archipelago and the customs and
material culture of its indigenous people. He
enaased in extended correspondence with museums
about material culture (Specht 1999). His 1907 book
Dreissig Jahre in der Siidsee is full of details about
material culture and observations such as admitting
adze handle from New Ireland was correct (Park
incrm Tûoo-n^ T Hn nnf Ifnnw of anv Parkinson
publication dealing with anthropometry, but he was
very active in acquiring human skulls and skeletons
tor various museums (see ipecht 1999;. As rar as 1
can determine, neither Farrell nor Emma dealt in
human remains.
Of his artifact collecting activities, Parkinson
advised Skiff, Director of the Field Museum, that "I
have always collected choice and perfect specimen"
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Figure 4. Human skull mask overmodelled with resin, clay, plant fibers and opercula of Turbo sp., and painted
in red, black, and white. Blanche Bay area, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Registered in 1897 but
attributed to an 'Old Collection possibly acquired from Captain Thomas Farrell in 1884 or T. Weisser in 1883.
AM registration no. E.5978.
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[sic], each of which he labelled with "name of village
and island where I collected it, as well as its use" (RP
ci_:rr „ / i*\ c_ J1__ : ■ 1: J „ _ _ J
IW vJIVlll 4*\J! 4*1 \J\J J . uauijy LI IIJ ^11 av-liv^v. U1U I1UI V_AIV_11U
to the items that he and Farrell sent to Sydney.
Parkinson clearly preferred older objects without
European materials included in them, and advised
Dorsey in 1909 that the malagan items he was hop
ing to get from New Ireland would be "without
much European material" (RP to Dorsey 14/5/09).
Emma and Farrell had no such qualms, including in
fhpir rnllprfinnç for fhp Muslim rlav ninpç marlp on
Bougainville and copied from European originals.
Emma (and the Museum) also saw fit to include
Samoan-grown tobacco in the collections.
the collections of artifacts represented a passing era.
Like A.B. Lewis after Parkinson's death, he saw his
task as assisting museums to acquire samples of what
was rapidly becoming the 'ethnographic past'
AY/=ir^u I i ,L .—11„»:—„
\ " > ~ //• —
would be used to show "the astonished natives of
New Britain or New Ireland objects that their fore
fathers used in war and peace"; even during
Parkinson's lifetime Tolai men broueht their sons to
see his personal collection (Parkinson i999:xxxiii).
Ironically, Parkinson shows little sign in his writing
LllctL XIV^ VV ctO dWdlL LlldL Ut Wd3 <13 11IUV_.11 iWpUllMUlC
for these changes as any other European. He could
lament the fact that when he arrived in the archi
pelago in 1882 old Tolai alor skull masks were still
available, but by 1899 they were made for sale
(Parkinson 1999:258) (Fig. 4). Likewise, he com
The correspondence between Parkinson and the
Australian Museum and later with the Field
Museum, reveals clearly that he was well aware that
Figure 5. Wooden dance wands. Buka Island, Papua New Guinea
Left: painted in red, black, and white. Purchased in 1885 from Captain Thomas Farrell and Richard Parkinson.
AM registration no. B.8791
Right: unpainted. Donated by Captain Thomas Farrell, possibly in 1886—87 but not registered until 1898. AM
registration no. E.8088
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plained that in 1903 Hellwig went to the Western
Islands for Hernsheim "to plunder the field with
regara to etnnograpnic items to suen an extent tnat
the beautiful old objects are no longer there"
(Parkinson 1000:183). One can onlv assume rhat
Parkinson regarded his own collecting habits as
being above such 'plunder,' and that he left the
'beautiful old objects' in their original villages!
1 here are no records to show how the large col
together, though some speculation is possible. What
is remarkable about tne items received prior to
Pirroll'r oo t-ko rkoor mimUûrr nnma
gories of artifacts, and the overall limited range of
categories. The 1884 consignment contained over
1500 arrows from Buka, while in 1886 the Museum
declined to take nearly 400 paddles and dance
1_ C. t»._ 1 __ t 1 . j 1 1 /r 1 .
yy aiiuo num uiva. i iiay^ iiwlcu ^a^v-LHL
I999:xxi) the possibility that Parkinson may have
commissioned the production of certain categories
of artifacts (Fig. 5). However, the sudden decline in
niianfifie.Q r»f a rfi far re nffprprl tn fhp Mucpnm fr»l_
lowing Farrell's death suggests that Farrell may have
been the instigator of such a high level of produc
don, probably with the willing collusion of the local
people, if not also the plantation labor force.
h ver y consignment berore rarrell s death includ
ed weapons of some kind (Fig. 6); in some cases
weapons constituted the majority of items on offer.
Ritual items, especially those associated with
malagan ceremonies, are probably the next most
"nmmnn rrrnnn in^ rinrv^c Urvi-K fi 111 pÎto inrl
:1s, and their paddles also form a substantial part.
Everyday utensils and tools are in a distinct minor
ity, with the exception of wooden bowls and bas
'»*- XX vm "XV -X 1J1U11UJ> X T 1*_/J I VI 11 IV
:ollections came from the Admiralty Islands, New
Lreiana ana DUKa-Bougainvine. Relatively tew
pother than weapons) came from New Britain itself,
where the collectors were based. Particularly notice
ible by their scarcity are stone figures associated with
:he Tolai men's iniet society.
In his Dreissïg Jabre, Parkinson (1999:259—265)
devoted considerable space to an account of the iniet
lociety and its activities. He noted the stone figures
issociated with the society almost incidentally
I999:2(5i)> and commented that "several of these
:ame into my possession." The scarcity of these fig
ires in the collections received by the Australian
Museum (two definitely from Farrell and a third
probably from him) is more likelv to reflect the level
of secrecy associated with the society in the late 19th
century than the scarcity of the figures themselves.^
In 1906—1907 Richard Thurnwald visited the
Gazelle Peninsula and made a collection of over 700
iniet figures for the Museum fiir Vôlkerkunde in
Berlin (Koch 1982:28). Rather than ask why are there
so tew in tne rarreii, Parkinson, and tmma collec
tions, perhaps we should ask why Thurnwald was
able to acquire so many? By the time Thurnwald
arrived in the archipelago, the power of the iniet
society was probably waning under the influence of
mission teaching and suppression. This may have
opened up the opportunity for selling the cult fig
ures that had not been available to Parkinson or
Parkinson made it clear in letters to both Sydney
md Chicago that he could obtain special items
because he knew when major ceremonies were
planned on New Britain and New Ireland. He fold
Etheridge at the Australian Museum that he expect
2(1 there to be a dukduk ceremony in middle 1903,
aut by the end of the year this had not taken place
(the two masks promised to the Museum appear not
to nave materialized; ^/vivio^, r 21/1903; am 09,
P43/1903). In April 1909 he informed George
Dorsey that he had placed an order for dukduk and
"11 mkllln miclrc in/-l ITin'«-t. ^
:rader" on New Ireland for items from a mortuary
;eremony (presumably malagan). Parkinson hoped
'to get about 200 specimens together, all in good
1„_" mn - - .i-i \ t rr
/luvi yj\i i/uiovj' i / j / xyyjy} . 111
Parkinson was giving museums his guarantee that
:he items they were acquiring were genuine, and had
not been made for sale. Parkinson's ability to indi
cé how many items he mieht obtain suggests a
iound knowledge of production rates for mortuary
;eremonies. One cannot help wondering in the case
)f the malagan, however, whether such confidence
ibout the large number ol items likely to be avail
ible also reflected some kind of inducement to the
1 noted above that the loss of the Australian
Museum's anthropological collections in the Garden
'alace fire of 1882 led to a program of replacement
)ii a massive scale. In part it was fortuitous for the
Vluseum that so much of the western colonization
md exploration of the western Pacific islands
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occurred after 1882. The Museum embarked on a
frenzy of acquisition, adding thousands of items to
the collections in less than a decade. This did not
reflect, however, the Museum's lack of commitment
to maintaining tnese collections, rot many ot trie
items were subsequently exchanged with other
miKPiimç anrl nrivafp rnllprfnrç Ramwv (rnrarnr
1874-1894)' and his successor, Etheridge (curator
and director 1895—1919), were both natural histori
ans and clearly viewed the artiracts received rrom the
Bismarck Archipelago as a means for improving the
Museum's collections. During their terms as cura
tors, hundreds of artifacts were sent overseas, most
ly it seems, in exchange for natural history speci
mens. Artifacts were sent to museums in
Christchurch, Toronto, Vienna, Florence and
Berlin, as well as to Australian institutions and pri
vate collectors. These exchanges, however, were not
just a feature of the post-fire period, for in 1876 and
1880 Professor H. Gigliogli in Florence was involved
in several exchanges. These and later exchanges with
Gigliogli involved over 200 artifacts in nine trans
actions between 1876 and 1907.1 leave the reader to
renect on tne relative merits or one excnange. in royj
the Museum sent Gigliogli a selection of Australian
and New Guinean stone tools, clubs, shell and tooth
11 • r i • i i* i • • i i
111 ICIUI11 1U1 WHICH VJlgllUgll piUVlUCU ilA
sheep, three goats and two dogs. Not all of the
exchanges were to the detriment of the anthropo
logical collections. An exchange with von Hiigel in
1885, for example, yielded a range of Fijian artifacts.
Other exchanges involving a range of collections
provided the Museum with early material from the
Fly River of Papua and a representative selection of
Hawaiian items (Thomserr TQcn:iO. The Australian
Museum, however, still retains the majority of the
items received from Farrell, Emma, Parkinson and
Figure 6. Obsidian-tipped spear points, hafted on
wood with resin and fiber string, decorated with red,
black, and white painting. Admiralty Islands, Papua
New Guinea. Purchased from Captain Thomas
Farrell in 1886. AM registration nos. E.848 (left) and
E.647 (right), (photo by Gregory Millen)
their relatives.9
The relationship between Parkinson and the
Australian Museum faded in 1903-1904. By this
Mmp tkp \/fi 1 cpi 1 rr* mnr Itia/p cotprl if-c innpfifp
artifacts from the Bismarck Archipelago and was
turning its attention elsewhere. The Australian states
had become a federated nation formally indepen
dent from Great Britain in iooi. In the following
year Curator Etheridge instigated the formation of
the Ethnological Committee of New South Wales,
which had as one or its aims the acquisition or
Aboriginal artifacts from the State for the Museum's
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Figure 7 . Luf (Hermit Islands) oceanic sailing canoe now in the Museum fiiir Volkerkunde, Berlin. Length 15
meters, Mus. No. Vi 23 116 (photograph by Parkinson)
collections (Thorpe 1931:6). It is tempting to see
Etheridge's focus on New South Wales as part of a
new-found nationalism, and indeed under his direc
torship increasing emphasis was placed on the acqui
sition of Aboriginal material.
The Museum, however, continued to acquire
large quantities of artifacts from another part of the
New Guinea region. As part of the creation of the
nmir nif-mn f-ko irlfninirfrriHrvn r»f «-1-» 1 »-\i r rtf
British New Guinea was transferred to Australia.
Henceforth, the Museum's acquisitions from the
New Guinea region focused heavily on the new
coiony or rapua ana, arrer tne threat war, tne main
land part of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea.
When it came time to dispose of his personal col
lection, Parkinson turned his attention to North
America. L.L. 1 îlden, who described himself as an
old friend' of Parkinson, had visited Ralum early in
1905. On his return to the USA, Tilden got in touch
with the Field Museum in Chicago and started
negotiations for the sale of Parkinson's collection
(Specht i999:xvii—xviii). After prolonged negotia
none 1 prMnn of* oKai if- t a nn ifpmc une colrl f-r*
the Field Museum (Specht 1999). This probably did
not upset Etheridge — if he knew about it and had
been able to afford the asking price of £700, which
exceeded the total amount of about £^6o previous
ly paid to Farrell, Emma, and Parkinson. In
Etheridge's eyes the Museum probably had enough
itpmc from cnmp oror nf rprfain r\Anpc that- oAAt
J 1
tional specimens were not required. In 1919, he
advised the executor of Dr George Browns estate
that the Australian Museum was not interested in
acquiring Brown's large collection of artifacts from
Australia and the Pacific Islands, esneciallv the
Bismarck Archipelago, because it contained many
duplicates. The executor, however, would not allow
the collection to be split and it was sent to
This basic account of Parkinson's links with the
Australian Museum suggests that his activities and
mt-orortr curxo t-n l-ûrl t-Urtro /-\£* Uir /-•/-»«
temporaries in the Bismarck Archipelago and in
Sydney. A fuller version would address his relations
with other museums and collectors in Europe and
North America and give more consideration of the
local people who produced the artifacts that he,
Farrell and others acquired. For many islanders,
_ 1 _ : •c_ : j_j ....... j . r
nauv- 111 iiiv-ii ai uiav.10 ^/iuviuv,u a^coo lu ui
the outside world (cf. Torrence 1993 with reference
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to Admiralty Islands' obsidian-tipped spears).
Initially, their main exchange items with the foreign
l/^rc \xrf*rf> fr»r\rl o nrl mrnni 1 re rnnri A c fhp»
tiers established their own source of coconuts
through plantations, in some areas the local people's
capacity to trade for European goods may have
1 l • 1 wr r 1 l • • 1
va^v^lllicu.. WUt 0U111C Ul lliCIll 111 UU 111C
seemingly insatiable overseas demand for their carv
ings, weapons, and utensils?
T n innif-ir
on I i-t r
local people in some areas were encountering a new
source of potential customers: the burgeoning of
tourism in the western Pacific Islands. Burns Philp
started cruises to the waters of British New Guinea
rlprl if-c ronftp rkr>irp in t9o /( t"/~*
include tne ooiomon lsianas ana Vanuatu. By 1^99
it was offering voyages to New Britain as well
(Douglas 1006:^2). Bv the end of the 10th centurv.
the local people had learned ro charge the tourists
higher prices than the foreigners who were settled
on their lands (Douglas 1996:49).
Thousands of artifacts left the archipelago dur
ing Parkinson's lifetime, and many thousands more
j J : ^1 • J • 1 :
tions between 1907-1914. Welsch (i998:vol.I, 15)
notes that in addition to the large quantity that A.B.
Lewis sent back to Chicago from his own efforts, a
further 10,000 or so reached Chicago from Parkin
son, Dorsey, Voogt, and Umlaurf. 1 housands more
went to museums through expeditions like the
Hamburg South Seas Expedition (Fischer 1981) and
through individuals like Richard Thurnwald. We
will never know how many artifacts left the archi
pelago between 1875 and 1914, but it must have been
in the order of 50,000 items or more.
Why were so many items so eagerly sought and
exported: i ne reasons are prouauiy as many ana as
varied as the individuals involved. Underlying most,
if not all, of them was the sense that this was a new
frontier of Western exoerience in colonial exnan
sion. The rest of the Western world could be intro
j k. A- c A l A
w " ""UbVU ~
material evidence of the objects themselves. There
were souls to be saved, peoples to be civilized, power
to be exercised, theories to be validated, and money
to be made.
For Farrell and Emma, the interest of museums
in the artifacts and natural history specimens of the
archipelago was an opportunity to make money, and
during the difficult early years of establishing their
business these sales provided a much-needed cash
flow. As Emma's financial situation improved after
Farrell's death, her interest in selling artifacts seems
to have declined, though this might also have reflect
ed increasing financial difficulties in the Museum in
rhf ifionç (Sirrahan lovci'/iiO In ÇvHnpv rhp
Australian Museum curators saw opportunities of a
différent kind, and used the nhierrs in evrhancres rn
benefit the anthropology and natural history collec
tions. This was probably a very pragmatic approach
during times of financial hardship at the Museum.
IMClLllCi Ivdll loct^' UU1 JoLllCl liagC, llUWLVtl, Ud^U. L1IC
collections to contribute to the literature on the
Parkinson himself regarded the artifacts as scien
tific specimens that recorded the passing of an era,
the study of which might yield insights into the his
«. j i_r„
—-.— v.
seems to have been the only collector of the time
who saw beyond immediate needs and wants. He
saw a future value for the collections to the descen
dants of those who had made them. The objects
would become records of times past that would
'astonish' and inform future generations.
Unfortunately, we can only conjecture as to Phebe's
thoughts, though in her interview with Mead she
implied that she followed Richard s line.
For each nerson. then, the obiects were 'histori
cally refigured' at each step in the chain from pro
duction to final resting place, with objects often hav
îng simultaneously several uirrereni meanings 111
defiance of their material stability" (Thomas
1991:125). In recent years this process has continued
as Parkinson presciently observed. They now form
material witnesses or tne cultural Heritage or tne peo
ples of the region, in addition to their position as
museum items with all the complexity of meaning
that such a description entails.
As with my original paper about Parkinson, I offer
thanks to Robert Langdon, Canberra; the Field
Museum, Chicago, especially Janice Klein; the
Australian Museum, Sydney, especially Jan brazier
and the staff of the Research Library and Archives.
T? . 1 _ _ 1 ! LI* 1 i ^
ments and with permission to quote from them. I
thank especially Chiaki Ajioka, Curator of
July 2000 35
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Japanese Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, for
i • • i i • r t i i • •
11CI WIL1I liilIIMctllUll ui uic pu.uucd.uuii
details of Ishimori 1999. I thank Rainer
Buschmann for reading the first draft of the paper
and making useful comments towards its improve
ment. Final responsibility for omissions, inaccura
cies, and misinterpretations remains mine.
spears was bought for £4 (2s each). By 1886, how
ever, New Ireland spears were worth only 8d—9c!
each, but Admiralty Islands spears were 2s each.
Farrell fared no better with chalk figures from New
Ireland. In 1883 Brown sold three to the Museum
for £5, a price considered by the Museum to be
'very moderate.' In the following year Farrell
received only 17s 6d for three more chalk figures.
7. Cash flow and undercapitalization were common
problems for planters and traders in the 1870s and
1880s. Between 1875 and 1878, Hernsheim experi
enced one financial crisis after another. In 1880, just
as he was beginning to get his business on to a sta
ble footing, the price of copra collapsed (Sack and
Clark 1983:28!?., 61). Farrell fared no better. Even
allowing for Hernsheim's intense dislike of Farrell,
Hernsheim's observation on Ralum that "Cotton
doesnt seem to pay after all. Farrell ... has now
decided to try coffee" highlights the struggle to
make the plantation viable (Sack and Clark
1983:164, cf. 177).
Farrell went to San Francisco in June 1884 and in the
absence of news about him, it was feared that he
was dead. Hernsheim approached Emma about the
possible sale of Ralum and found she was "disposed
to sell-out immediately if it turns out Farrell is
dead" (Sack and Clark 1983:165). Emma was so des
perate for money that she sold Hernsheim 100 tons
of copra for only f 12, probably not even enough to
cover production costs (Sack and Clark 1983:166).
Farrell was not dead, and on his return he, too, was
willing to sell Ralum because he saw no future
under a German administration of the archipelago.
His price was too high and no sale eventuated (Sack
and Clark 1983:171). Farrell's financial situation did
not improve, and when he died in 1887 he was offi
cially bankrupt (Sack and Clark 1983:111). Emma
turned around the fortunes of the business.
8. In the early 1880s, Hugh Romilly (1886:34-35) and
'Mr H.' [Hernsheim?] found three chalk figures on
the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain. These were
presumably iniet figures. The local people told
them about similar figures made from volcanic
rock, but Romilly and Mr. H. did not find any.
9. Exchanges of artifacts continued under Anderson,
Etheridge's successor, and as late as 1938 dance
wands from Buka were exchanged with the South
Australian Museum in Adelaide. Bows and arrows
were so lowly regarded by the Museum that hun
1. Throughout the text I use the spelling 'Phebe' in
preference to 'Phoebe,' since this is the way that she
signed her letters to the Australian Museum and
the Field Museum, and how she appears in the
record of Mead's interview with her in 1929 (Mead
2. For convenience, I cite the 1999 English translation
of Parkinson's 1907 work.
3. According to Powell (1883:45), at some stage there
was 'a whaling station ... for preparing the oil for
shipment' at Port Hunter prior to 1875. This was
probably used irregularly during the whaling sea
son, rather than maintained on a year-round basis.
4. I have covered elsewhere (Specht 1999) some aspects
of Parkinson's involvement in the trade in human
remains, particularly from the Bismarck
5. The settlers around Blanche Bay in east New Britain
and in the Duke of York Islands were not as isolat
ed as might seem to have been the case. There were
frequent steamers and schooners from Australia,
naval vessels from Great Britain and Germany, mis
sionary ships, recruiters and traders and so on. The
settlers — traders, planters, missionaries and gov
ernment officials — were able to use these frequent
calls to visit Australia and elsewhere. Farrell,
Parkinson, Emma and presumably Phebe took the
opportunity while in Sydney to call at the
Australian Museum and discuss the Museum's
needs and wants. Unfortunately, such visits and the
substance of the business transacted do not appear
to be recorded in documents that survive.
6. This 1884 transaction valued the bows and arrows
at 3d each and Buka spears at 2s each. The spear
price compared favorably with that paid by the
Museum to George Brown in 1883. One consign
ment of 100 New Ireland spears from Brown
fetched £12 (2s 6d each) and Curator Ramsay
observed that the price 'may be considered low.' A
second consignment from him of 40 New Britain
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dreds were given away to schools and Boy Scout
troops in the Sydney area in the 1920s.
10. The George Brown collection is now mostly in the
National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
(Specht 1987; Ishimori 1999). When the Australian
Museum was offered the opportunity to purchase
the collection in 1918, the executors of Brown's
estate sought to place two conditions: firstly, that
the collection items be stored together; secondly,
that they be displayed as a collection. The Museum
Trust could not agree to either condition, but also
noted "unnecessary duplication of material." The
Trust offered £300 for part of the collection, but
the executors declined. In 1931 the Museum pur
chased Brown's large photographic collection from
J.R. Tyrrell of Sydney.
Document cited held in the Australian Museums
Archives catalogued as Outward Letter Books:
AMS6, 79/1905: Sutherland Sinclair to Richard
Documents cited that are held in the Australian
Museum's Archives catalogued as Inward Letters:
AMS8, 55/1884: Thomas Farrell to Edward Ramsay,
14 January 1884.
AMS9, K9/1897: Emma Kolbe to Robert Etheridge
Jnr, 29 April 1897.
AMS9, P21/1903: Richard Parkinson to Robert
Etheridge Jnr, 27 May 1903.
AMS9, P43/1903: Richard Parkinson to Robert
Etheridge Jnr, 10 November 1903.
AMS9, P3/1904: Richard Parkinson to Robert
Etheridge Jnr, 20 December 1903.
Other information is taken from the purchase and
acquisition schedules for the various transac
Documents relating to Parkinson's dealings with the
Field Museum, Chicago held in the archives of the
Anthropology Department, Field Museum:
Parkinson to F.V. Skiff 20/2/1906.
Parkinson to G. Dorsey 14/5/1909.
ANON. 1890. Nachrichten iiber Kaiser Wilhelmsland
und den Bismarck-Archipel. Vol. 6. Berlin: Neu
Guinea Compagnie.
BlSKUP, PETER 1974. The New Guinea Memoirs of Jean
Baptiste Octave Mouton. Canberra: ANU Press.
BOLTON, Lissant M. 1980. Oceanic Cultural Property
in Australia: A pilot survey of major public institu
tions. Sydney: Australian Museum and UNESCO.
BOLTON, Lissant, G. O'Donnell and John Wade 1979.
"Lost Treasures of the Garden Palace." Australian
Natural History I9(n):4i4-i9.
Deane, Wallace (ed) 1933. In Wild New Britain. The
Story of Benjamin Danks, Pioneer Missionary.
Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
DOUGLAS, Ngaire 1996. They Came for Savages. 100
Years of Tourism in Melanesia. Alstonville, NSW:
Southern Cross University.
FlRTH, Stewart 1986. New Guinea under the Germans.
Port Moresby: Web Books.
FISCHER, Hans 1981. Die Hamburger Stidsee
Expedition. Uber Ethnographie und Kolonialismus.
Frankfurt-am-Main: Syndicat.
gray, A.C. 1999. "Trading Contacts in the Bismarck
Archipelago during the Whaling Era, 1799-1884."
Journal of Pacific History 34 (1): 23-43.
GUNN, MICHAEL 1997. Ritual Arts of Oceania. New
Ireland in the Collections of the Barbier-Mueller
Museum. Milan: Skira Editore.
hempenstall, Peter J. 1978. Pacific Islanders under
German Rule: a study in the meaning of colonial resis
tance. Canberra: ANU Press.
ISHIMORI, Shuzo 1999. Cultural Heritage of the South
Pacific: the George Brown Collection at the National
Museum of Ethnology (In Japanese: Minami
Taiheyô-no Bunka Isan: Kokuritsu Minzokugaku
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... Parkinson was born in 1844 in Schleswig, Germany (then Denmark), and died in 1909 in New Britain (see Specht, 1999, 2000and Parkinson, 1907 By 1884, Parkinson, at the urging of his employers, began collecting for or communicating with the Australian Museum (Specht, 1999). ...
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This article presents the results of combined osteological and archival research into the demographics, preservation condition, taphonomy, pathology, cultural modification and collecting history of the Parkinson collection of human crania from New Britain, collected c. 1897, and currently housed in the Etnografiska Museet (Ethnography Museum), Stockholm, Sweden. This assemblage of crania (n=45) was acquired by one Richard Heinrich Robert Parkinson (1844‐1909), a Danish explorer and anthropologist initially in the employ of the Hamburg based J. C Goddefroy & Sohn in Samoa trading firm. In 1897, after independently settling on the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain with his family and beginning to make collecting trips to local communities and those on neighboring islands, this collection of crania eventually came to reside at its present location. This article provides the first in‐depth analysis of the osteology of this collection contextualized within what is known and knowable about its ownership history and movement between collection and arrival in Stockholm. This includes translation of previously untranslated German documents that provide heretofore undisclosed information about Parkinson’s collecting activities. Osteological analysis includes age and sex estimation, taphonomic modification as an indicator of initial depositional environment, discussion of select examples of pathology and trauma, and the comparative analysis of decorative motifs (where present). Results indicate a primarily young adult male assemblage, but with all major age classes and both sexes present. Incidents of trauma and pathology are low, but some unique examples are highlighted. The results of the taphonomic analysis reveal new insights into likely primary or secondary burial conditions before collection and export to Europe. Overall, this research furthers the argument that research into Colonial‐era collecting and trading of human remains is most effective when osteological and archival research is conducted together.
... The following chronological survey is divided into three sections: collections made during the German colonial period before World War I; those made in the inter-war years (1914–1939); and those made after World War II. Much of the detail of these collections has been discussed in earlier publications (Buschmann, 2000; Gosden & Knowles, 2001; Knowles et al., 2000; O'Hanlon & Welsch, 2000; Specht, 2000). The purpose of such an overview in this context is not merely a " who was who " regarding collecting in the region but a means of exploring the actions and motivations of individual collectors in each of the three colonial government phases in the Territory. ...
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The study of material culture has waxed and waned in importance in anthropology, unlike archaeology where it has always been central. However, much of the anthropology carried out on the south coast of New Britain has concerned the collection of material culture. We survey a century of collecting on the coast ranging from the large, well-organized expeditions of the German period, through a number of individual collectors both amateur and professional from the German period to the Second World War, and we finish with the more minor forms of collecting taking place in the quite different political climate after the War. We show that the study of past collections can throw light on a number of histories: the biographies of individuals, both local and colonial, the histories of institutions and disciplines, and the history of change along the south coast of New Britain itself.
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Judicious use of whaling logs provides rich insight into the history of the Bismarck Archipelago. During the whaling era 1799–1884 there were three whaling grounds and four common anchorages in the region, which had a profound impact on the nature of contact and trade with islanders. Trading contact was predominantly at sea. The logs provide details of exact items traded, whalers for subsistence, islanders for iron. Only surpluses were exchanged. Contact was overwhelmingly friendly. Because whalers’ needs were few they rarely ventured further than the beach. They brought some disease, and new ideas, but had no deliberate intention of altering Islanders’ way of life. A pattern of mutual advantage and economic symbiosis emerged. The logs say much of the contact but little of the impact. The islanders remained economically independent. A complex pattern of diffusion occurred working inland from coastal contact sites, affecting prices, values and inflation. The spread of iron came from epicentres of trade and intra‐island relations were forever altered.
Part 1 Objects, exchange, anthropology: prestations and ideology the inalienability of the gift immobile value the promiscuity of objects value - a surplus of theories. Part 2 The permutations of debt - exchange systems in the Pacific: alienation in Melanesian exchange debts and valuables in Fiji and the Marquesas valuables with and without histories the origin of whale teeth value conversion versus competition in kind. Part 3 The indigenous appropriation of European things: the allure of barter the musket economy in the southern Marquesas the representation of the foreign the whale tooth trade and Fijian politics prior systems and later histories. Part 4 The European appropriation of indigenous things: curiosity - colonialism in its infancy converted artifacts - the material culture of Christian missions murder stories - settlers' curios ethnology and the vision of the state artifacts as tokens of industry the name of science. Part 5 The discovery of the gift - exchange and identity in the contemporary Pacific: transformations of Fijian ceremonies the disclosure of reciprocity discoveries.
Although ethnography has played an important role in the development of archaeological theory and method, it is limited by the short time‐scales employed and the lack of attention to material culture. Historical studies of museum collections can help overcome these difficulties. By monitoring changes in the efficiency of production of Admiralty Island spears and daggers over the past 120 years, one can observe the effects of economic transformation from noncommercial, reciprocal exchange through to modern day market trading. Contrary to predictions, changes in raw material inputs, craftsmanship, simplification and standardization are not all unidirectional. The results of the case‐study indicate that efficiency is a good indicator of exchange type, but archaeologists also need to understand the specific cultural contexts that shape the particular consumer demands.