Volume 87 1978 > Volume 87, No. 1 > Notes and news, p 3-4
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Artificial Curiositiesat the Bernice P. Bishop Museum

In January 1978, the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu opened an exhibition entitled “Artificial Curiosities: Being an Exhibition and Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook, R.N.” The day chosen for the opening, January 18, was the bicentennial of the day Cook became the first European to see Hawaii. The exhibit will run until August 31, 1978.

In the course of three voyages to the Pacific, Cook and his companions collected a large number of man-made objects, known as “artificial curiosities” to distinguish them from “natural curiosities”. These came to be scattered in various institutions, museums and private collections. The Bishop Museum has brought together and documented over 400 of them as a tribute to the achievement of Pacific people before the influence of intensive contact with the Western world.

It has taken eight years of research to locate and document the scattered collection, and to arrange for the loan of specimens which come from over two dozen different places around the world. An illustrated catalogue has been prepared by Adrienne L. Kaeppler. This volume not only documents the material in the exhibition but also illustrates items not on display and provides an inventory of all the documented Cook voyage ethnographic objects that have been traced to a known or probable location.


In the figure on page 176 of the June 1977 issue (vol. 86), a horizontal line should connect the descent lines culminating in Queen Sālote and Hon. Kalanivalu.

In the plate on page 399 of the September 1977 issue (vol. 86) the top should be at the bottom, so that it is a reverse image of the plate on the facing page.

Memoir Supplement

Appearing in this issue is part 1 of a Memoir Supplement by George E. Marcus entitled The Nobility and the Chiefly Tradition in the Modern Kingdom of Tonga. It will be continued in the June 1978 issue and the final part will appear in the December 1978 issue. Later, it will be published separately as a Polynesian Society Memoir.

George E. Marcus received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and read social anthropology at Cambridge on a Henry Fellowship. He is presently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rice University in Texas. The present memoir is a revised version of his Harvard dissertation based on field work in Tonga during the early 1970s. His present research interests, all deriving in one way or another from his Tongan work, are the relationship between international migration and cultural change in small-scale societies; worldviews, lifestyles and strategies of perpetuation among elite families—including old entrepreneurial families in Galveston, Texas; and aspects of modern Tongan society.

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Contributor of Article in This Issue

Anne Salmond is a Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland. She took her Ph.D. in 1972 at the University of Pennsylvania, and has since carried out research in New Zealand in Maori ethnology and socio-linguistics. Her most recent publication is Amiria: The Life Story of a Maori Woman. The article in this issue is a revised version of a paper presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Polynesian Society in July 1976, the occasion on which Dr Salmond was awarded the Elsdon Best Memorial Medal for her book, Hui: A Study of Maori Ceremonial Gatherings.