Charles Seligman Beatrice Blackwood PRM Museum John Hutton Henry Balfour Edward Tylor Augustus Fox

Pitt Rivers Museum Oceania collections up to 1945 statistics Part 2

Summary of all Oceania objects:

[article ID:268]

You will note that there are two separate forms of this graph, one (shown above) calculated the figures by adding together archaeology, ethnography and ?archaeology/ethnography counts as given at the end of Part I of Oceania statistics as identified as being from within or without the British Empire, the other one (to be found on page 10 of Part I) was calculated by dividing the total number of objects for each country between British Empire or not. The figures in each case:

Part I calculation: British Empire= 85 per cent / Non-British Empire = 15 per cent

Part II calculation: British Empire = 87 per cent / Non-British Empire = 13 per cent

These figures are not earth-shatteringly different but they are different. You pays your money and takes your choice as to which is 'more accurate'. The lesson to be drawn from this discrepancy is that the figures can vary depending on how they are calculated and that, yet again, we should stress how sceptical should be the view of these statistics and how tentative the conclusions. One can draw a certain conclusion from these statistics, even taken the discrepancy, the vast majority of Oceania objects accessioned by 1945 were from colonies or ex-colonies of the British Empire. For this continent Empire did make a difference.

5. Total number of objects obtained from each country of region

[article ID:269]

For further figures see Part I:

Cook Islands

Cook Islands archaeology total = 1

Cook Islands ethnography total = 109

Cook Islands archaelogy or ethnography total = 1

Fiji

Fiji archaeology total = 3

Fiji ethnography total = 992

Fiji archaeology or ethnography total = 14

Gambier Islands, French Polynesia

Gambier Islands ethnography total = 29

Gambier Islands archaeology or ethnography total = 55

Irian Jaya [definite, see also PNG and New Guinea unspecified]

Irian Jaya [Indonesia] ethnography total = 135

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Kiribati

Kiribati ethnography total = 205

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Marquesas Islands French Polynesia

Marquesas Islands ethnography total = 86

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands ethnography total = 53

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Federated States of Micronesia

Micronesia [Caroline Islands] archaeology total = 11

Micronesia [Caroline Islands] ethnography total = 211

New Caledonia

New Caledonia archaeology total = 5

New Caledonia ethnography total = 294

New Caledonia archaeology or ethnography total = 5

New Zealand

New Zealand archaeology total = 185

New Zealand ethnography total = 1,068

New Zealand archaeology or ethnography total = 367

Niue

Niue ethnography total = 125

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Republic of Palau [Caroline Islands

Palau ethnography total = 65

Palau archaeology or ethnography total = 1

Papua New Guinea

Archaeology - 25

Ethnography - 6,765

Arch or ethn - 257

These are PNG definite entries

Island of New Guinea [unspecificially provenanced]

Total number of objects = 490

archaeology = 4

ethnography = 483

archaeology or ethnography = 3

Pitcairn Islands

Pitcairn Islands archaeology total = 2

Pitcairn Islands ethnography total = 16

Pitcairn Islands arch or ethnography total = 82

Rapa Nui [Easter Island]

Rapa Nui ethnography total = 144

Rapa Nui archaeology or ethnography total = 758

Samoa

Samoa archaeology total = 20

Samoa ethnography total = 322

Samoa archaeology or ethnography total = 4

Society Islands French Polynesia

Society Islands archaeology total = 1

Society Islands ethnography total = 162

Society Islands archaeology or ethnography total = 1

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands ethnography total = 3,146

Solomon Islands archaeology or ethnography total = 8

[Although there are some possible non-ethnographic items from the Solomon Islands the percentages are such that is not worth creating a graph - it shows 100 per cent ethnography, nought per cent other)

Tokelau Islands

Tokelau Islands ethnography total = 1 [possibly from New Zealand]

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

Tonga

Tonga archaeology total = 1

Tonga ethnography total = 286

Tonga archaeology or ethnography total = 3

Tuamotu Archipelago French Polynesia

Tuamotu archaeology total = 2

Tuamotu ethnography total = 11

Tubuai Islands French Polynesia

Tubuai Islands archaeology total = 2

Tubuai Islands ethnography total = 51

Tubuai Islands archaeology or ethnography total = 27

Tuvalu

Tuvalu ethnography total = 188

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

USA [Hawaii]

Hawaii archaeology total = 1

Hawaii ethnography total = 110

Hawaii archaeology or ethnography total = 31

Vanuatu

Vanuatu archaeology total = 3

Vanuatu ethnography total = 944

Vanuatu archaeology or ethnography total = 9

Wallis & Futuna islands

Wallis & Futuna Islands ethnography total = 4

[no graph for this country as all its objects are ethnographic]

6. Total number of objects accessioned from each country broken down into decades

[article ID:270]

Note that throughout this section '1880s' actually refers to objects which were acquired by 1889 ie they may well have been collected and even acquired by the University of Oxford some time before 1880 - this is because of the consolidation of the University's ethnographic collections in the Pitt Rivers Museum during the 1880s.

Total Oceanian objects:

1880s - 2,144

1890s - 2,279

1900s - 2,362

1910s - 2,756

1920s - 2,561

1930s - 4,099

1940 - 1945 - 877

There doesn't seem anything particularly significant about this breakdown, the peak in the 1930s matches the overall high number of objects received in the Museum in that decade from all over the world (see global statistics report or field collector report both of which have DCF graph of growth of PRM collections by decade). However as the table below shows, it is principally objects from Melanesia that contribute to this peak, other areas of Oceania generally do not peak in the 1930s (rather the reverse). The reason for the Melanesian (and as will be seen from figures further down this paper, PNG specifically) blip is the large collections accessioned from Beatrice Blackwood.

Total objects divided into regions divided by decades

Melanesia

Micronesia

Polynesia

Unspecified

1880s

1,118

93

1,112

35

1890s

1,848

96

475

66

1900s

2,097

70

310

7

1910s

1,375

11

1,366

74

1920s

1,637

202

943

7

1930s

3,600

17

517

21

1940 - 1945

678

24

189

18

It is interesting that Micronesia bucks the trend in that the 1930s did not see many objects being accessioned from there, whereas overall it was the decade with the most Oceanian artefacts accessioned.

Oceanian objects divided between archaeology, ethnography, and those items which could be either archaeology or ethnography:

Archaeology

Ethnography

Arch or Eth

1880s

26

2,066

52

1890s

14

2,190

75

1900s

9

2,307

46

1910s

118

1,701

937

1920s

59

2,389

113

1930s

24

3,671

404

1940 - 1945

22

854

1

List of 'colonial' countries [ie at some time part of British Empire]

Cook Islands:

1880s - 39

1890s - 0

1900s - 0

1910s - 23

1920s - 36

1930s - 10

1940 - 1945 - 3

[BE from 1888]

Ironically the most significant decade for Cook Island acquisitions before 1945 was the 1880s, but they only became part of the British Empire in 1888, right at the end of that decade!

Fiji:

1880s - 234

1890s - 208

1900s - 106

1910s - 122

1920s - 249

1930s - 58

1940 - 1945 - 33

[BE from 1874]

Kiribati:

1880s - 61

1890s - 73

1900s - 9

1910s - 9

1920s - 25

1930s - 14

1940 - 1945 - 14

[BE from 1892]

Most collecting in Kiribati seems to have been carried out before 1900, there are only a few more objects in the decade (mostly) after colonisation as there was the decade before!

New Zealand:

1880s - 239

1890s - 101

1900s - 28

1910s - 261

1920s - 551

1930s - 313

1940 - 1945 - 127

[BE from 1840 - 1907???]

Niue:

1880s - 81

1890s - 23

1900s - 4

1910s - 3

1920s - 6

1930s - 5

1940 - 1945 - 0

[BE from 1900]

There are significantly more accessions from Niue before colonialisation than there were afterwards!

Papua New Guinea: [omitting entries that could be Irian Jaya]

1880s - 224

1890s - 512

1900s - 1,452

1910s - 954

1920s - 401

1930s - 3,266 [NB excluding items that might be Irian Jaya

1940 - 1945 - 564

[BE from 1884]

The PNG figures for the 1930s are causing the overall 1930s blip for Oceania, that is probably entirely due to Beatrice Blackwood's collections being accessioned during that period.

Note also that for the first 3 decades we are looking at, the number of entries which are not clear whether they come from PNG or Irian Jaya is much higher (nearly 400 objects over the 2 decades), this may have been as a result of the market accustoming itself to the colonial reality ie before then and for some time after people thought of the island of New Guinea as a whole and not as 2 separate political entities (or 3 as it was for some of this period).

[Papua New Guinea or Irian Jaya figures]:

1880s - 128

1890s - 150

1900s - 106

1910s - 25

1920s - 19

1930s - 29

1940 - 1945 - 24

Pitcairn Islands:

1880s - 5

1890s - 0

1900s - 2

1910s - 77

1920s - 16

1930s - 0

1940 - 1945 - 0

[BE from 1838]

Samoa:

1880s - 83

1890s - 130

1900s - 8

1910s - 8

1920s - 88

1930s - 20

1940 - 1945 - 9

[Western Samoa BE from 1914 - as cannot divide entries easily it is assumed all items from Samoa came from Western Samoa and were therefore collected under the auspices of the British Empire]

Yet again more objects were collected prior to colonisation than after!

Solomon Islands:

1880s - 274

1890s - 1,063

1900s - 307

1910s - 235

1920s - 680

1930s - 501

1940 - 1945 - 91

[BE from 1893]

Tokelau:

1880s - 1

1890s - 0

1900s - 0

1910s - 0

1920s - 0

1930s - 0

1940 - 1945 - 0

[BE from 1877 or 1889]

As there is only one object from Tokelau in the collections a graph will not be prepared for this country!

Tonga:

1880s - 146

1890s - 35

1900s - 6

1910s - 13

1920s - 78

1930s - 9

1940 - 1945 - 3

[BE from 1900]

Yet again there was more acquisitions from Tonga before colonialisation than after

Tuvalu:

1880s - 14

1890s - 7

1900s - 144

1910s - 1

1920s - 7

1930s - 14

1940 - 1945 - 1

[BE From 1892]

In a complete change to the last few countries trend,more objects were obtained post colonialisation than before

Vanuatu:

1880s - 158

1890s - 146

1900s - 234

1910s - 25

1920s - 261

1930s - 116

1940 - 1945 - 16

[BE From 1887]

Apart from the dips in the 1910s and 1940 - 1945 (understandabl y for the latter) acquisitions from Vanuatu are pretty steady throughout the period

Colonial Countries total number of objects divided by decade:

1880s - 1,559

1890s - 2,148

1900s - 2,194

1910s - 1,706

1920s - 2,379

1930s - 4,326

1940 - 1945 - 837

Yet again the Blackwood collection from Melanesia accessioned in the 1930s makes a big difference to the spread of figures

List of countries that were not part of British Empire at any time

Gambier Islands French Polynesia:

1880s - 3

1890s - 0

1900s - 0

1910s - 0

1920s - 81

1930s - 0

1940 - 1945 - 0

[French from 1844]

Irian Jaya [Indonesia]: [excluding PNG]

1880s - 4

1890s - 4

1900s - 18

1910s - 44

1920s - 2

1930s - 60

1940 - 1945 - 3

[Dutch / Indonesian from 1828, first real colonialisation from 1898]

Marquesas Islands French Polynesia:

1880s - 58

1890s - 2

1900s - 1

1910s - 2

1920s - 7

1930s - 13

1940 - 1945 - 1

[French from 1842]

By far the majorityof objects were acquired in the 1880s.

Marshall Islands:

1880s - 3

1890s - 2

1900s - 12

1910s - 0

1920s - 34

1930s - 2

1940 - 1945 - 0

[German from 1886, Japanese from 1914 until 1945]

Federated States of Micronesia [Caroline Islands]:

1880s - 5

1890s - 19

1900s - 44

1910s - 2

1920s - 142

1930s - 1

1940 - 1945 - 9

[1886 Spanish, 1899 German, 1914 Japanese until 1945]

New Caledonia:

1880s - 90

1890s - 31

1900s - 43

1910s - 4

1920s - 114

1930s - 10

1940 - 1945 - 12

[French from 1853, except Loyalties from 1864]

Republic of Palau [Caroline Islands]:

1880s - 20

1890s - 2

1900s - 32

1910s - 1

1920s - 7

1930s - 0

1940 - 1945 - 4

[from 1914 Japanese until 1945]

Rapa Nui [Easter Island]:

1880s - 10

1890s - 1

1900s - 1

1910s - 884

1920s - 3

1930s - 2

1940 - 1945 - 1

[Chilean]

The large number of objects in the 1910s are due to the acquisition of a lot of objects from William Scoresby Routledge

Society Islands French Polynesia:

1880s - 139

1890s - 2

1900s - 2

1910s - 1

1920s - 10

1930s - 4

1940 - 1945 - 6

[French from 1842]

The large number of objects acquired during the 1880s actually date from before this, as most of them come either from the Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers or Christ Church

Tuamotu Archipelago French Polynesia:

1880s - 8

1890s - 1

1900s - 2

1910s - 1

1920s - 0

1930s - 1

1940 - 1945 - 0

[French from 1847]

Tubuai Islands French Polynesia:

1880s - 18

1890s - 2

1900s - 1

1910s - 1

1920s - 41

1930s - 13

1940 - 1945 - 4

[French from 1889]

USA [Hawaii]:

1880s - 74

1890s - 2

1900s - 37

1910s - 13

1920s - 3

1930s - 11

1940 - 1945 - 2

[American from 1898]

The large number of objects acquired during the 1880s actually date from before this, as most of them come either from the Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers or the University Museum

Wallis and Futuna Islands:

1880s - 0

1890s - 1

1900s - 0

1910s - 3

1920s - 0

1930s - 0

1940 - 1945 - 0

[French from 1888]

Countries outside the Britsh Empire total number of objects divided by decade:

1880s - 432

1890s - 69

1900s - 193

1910s - 956

1920s - 444

1930s - 145

1940 - 1945 - 42

7. Already done before, under heading 5.

8. Breakdown of total number of objects by type for each country

[article ID:271]

List of types:

Beads

Clothing

Figures

Ornaments

Pottery

Religion

Specimens

Tools

Vessels

Weapons

?Music [optional 11th category]

Total Oceanian objects:

Beads - 70

Clothing - 820

Figures - 893

Ornaments - 2,991

Pottery - 117

Religion - 416

Specimens - 636

Tools - 3,829 [of which stone tools = 2,441]

Vessels - 631

Weapons - 5,047

Interestingly weapons are much more collected (and accessioned) from Oceania than tools - a big reversal of the global trends where stone tools represent a massive proportion of the total collections.

Weapons as proportion of Total Oceanian objects:

Archery related objects - 1,920

Armour - 58

Clubs - 1,028

Spears - 891

Shields - 65

NB this includes double counting between categories

Objects by type up to 1945 - Oceanian total objects:

Agriculture -   65

Animalia - 620

Animal Gear -   16

Archery Weapon - see weapon

Armour Weapon - see weapon

Bag -   265

Barkcloth -   550

Basketry -   698

Body Art -   154

Box -   122

Carving - 24

Ceremonial - 359

Children - 154

Clothing - 820

Commemoration -   40

Cordage - 253

Currency - 416

Dance -   258

Death -   176

Divination Religion - see Religion

Dwelling - 90 [omitting furniture dwelling]

Fan - 93

Figure -   893

Fire -   175

Firearm Weapon -   see weapon

Fishing - 1,008

Food -   738

Food-gathering - see food

Furniture Dwelling -   151

Geology -   78

Headhunting - 17

Hunting -   138

Insignia -   32

Lighting -   45

Lock -   0

Marriage - 10

Mask -   55

Measurement -   35

Medicine - 37

Metallurgy - 0

Model -   110

Music - 524

Narcotic - 674

Navigation -   476

Ornament and bead - 3,194

Photograph -   584

Physical Anthropology 155

Picture -   48

Plant - 288

Pottery - 117

Punishment and   12

Torture -

Religion -   416

Reproduction -   73

Scientific Apparatus -  0

Signal - 3

Specimen - 636

Sport -   20

Status - 235

Technique - 461

Textile -  250

Theatre - 0

Time -   8

Toilet - 284

Definite Tool -   2,950

Toy & Game - 149

Trade -   519

Transport -   175

Vessel - 631

Definite Weapon - 4,168

Either tool or weapon - 879

Writing - 34

Classes

Oceania

%

Total number of objects

17088

-

Agriculture

65

0.3

Animalia

620

3.6

Animal Gear

16

0

Bag

265

1.5

Barkcloth

550

3.2

Basketry

698

4.0

Body Art

154

0.9

Box

122

0.7

Carving

24

0.1

Ceremonial

359

2.1

Children

154

0.9

Clothing

820

4.7

Comm-emoration

40

0.2

Cordage

253

1.5

Currency

416

2.4

Dance

258

1.5

Death

176

1.0

Dwelling

90

0.5

Fan

93

0.5

Figure

893

5.2

Fire

175

1.0

Fishing

1,008

5.8

Food

738

4.3

Furniture Dwelling

151

0.9

Geology

78

0.4

Headhunting

17

0

Hunting

138

0.8

Insignia

32

0.1

Lighting

45

0.2

Lock

0

0

Marriage

10

0

Mask

55

0.3

Measurement

35

0.1

Medicine

37

0.1

Metallurgy

0

0

Model

110

0.6

Music

524

3.0

Narcotic

674

3.9

Navigation

476

2.7

Ornament & bead

3,194

18.6

Photograph

584

3.4

Physical Anthropology

155

0.9

Picture

48

0.2

Plant

288

1.6

Pottery

117

0.6

Punishment & Torture

12

0

Religion

416

2.4

Reproduction

73

0.4

Scientific Apparatus

0

0

Specimen

636

3.7

Sport

20

0.1

Status

235

1.3

Technique

461

2.6

Textile

250

1.4

Theatre

0

0

Time

8

0

Toilet

284

1.6

Toy & Game

149

0.8

Trade

519

3.0

Transport

175

1.0

Vessel

631

3.6

Writing

34

0.1

Definite Tool

2,950

17.2

Definite Weapon

4,168

24.3

Either tool or weapon

879

5.1

Stone tool [definite]

2,441

14.2

Percentage of tools that are stone tools

83%

-

Oceania objects in descending order of total numbers per type:

Weapon - 4,168

Ornament & Bead - 3,194

Tool - 2,950

Fishing - 1,008

Figure -   893

Clothing - 820

Food -   738

Basketry -   698

Narcotic - 674

Specimen - 636

Vessel - 631

Animalia - 620

Photograph -   584

Barkcloth -   550

Music - 524

Trade -   519

Navigation -   476

Technique - 461

Currency - 416

Religion -   416

Ceremonial - 359

Plant - 288

Toilet - 284

Bag -   265

Dance -   258

Cordage - 253

Textile -  250

Status - 235

Death -   176

Fire -   175

Transport -   175

Physical Anthropology 155

Body Art -   154

Children - 154

Furniture Dwelling -   151

Toy & Game - 149

Hunting -   138

Box -   122

Pottery - 117

Model -   110

Fan - 93

Dwelling - 90 [omitting furniture dwelling]

Geology -   78

Reproduction -   73

Bead -   70 (excl. ornaments)

Agriculture -   65

Mask -   55

Picture -   48

Lighting -   45

Commemoration -   40

Medicine - 37

Measurement -   35

Writing - 34

Insignia -   32

Carving - 24

Sport -   20

Headhunting - 17

Animal Gear -   16

Punishment and   12

Torture -

Marriage - 10

Time -   8

Signal - 3

Lock -   0

Metallurgy - 0

Scientific Apparatus - 0

Theatre - 0

Up to 1945

Oceania

total

no. of objects

Position

Type

No. of objects

Position

Type

No. of objects

1

Tool

68,459

1

Weapon

4168

2

Weapon

32,794

2

Tool

2950

3

Ornament & Bead **

21,345

3

Ornament & Bead

3194

4

Religion

15,125

4

Fishing

1008

5

Pottery

12,597

5

Figure

893

6

Figure

9,571

6

Clothing

820

7

Vessel

7,463

7

Food

738

8

Clothing

6,846

8

Basketry

698

9

Specimen

6,722

9

Narcotic

674

10

Music

6,038

10

Specimen

636

11

Textile

5,755

11

Vessel

631

12

Toy & Game

5,645

12

Animalia

620

13

Food

4,907

13

Photograph

584

14

Death

4,843

14

Barkcloth

550

15

Box

4,645

15

Music

524

16

Basketry

4,235

16

Trade

519

17

Currency

3,995

17

Navigation

476

18

Narcotic

3,701

18

Technique

461

19

Writing

3,670

19

{Currency}

416

20

Measurement

3,325

19

{Religion}

416

In both sides of this table, weapons and tools totals include double-counts.

It can be seen from the above table that priorities for collecting types of Oceanian objects, or (if it was not so systematic) the most common forms of Oceanian objects collected vary a good deal from the pattern found for objects from all over the world. Weapons take over from Tools as the most collected item. Fishing is very much more important, in Oceania it lies 4th, in global terms it is 28th! Navigation is 17 in the Oceania list but 41 globally, and barkcloth is 14 in Oceania but 50th globally, other significant differences. Clothing appears higher in Oceania than globally as does animalia. food, basketry, narcotics, photographs , technique and trade (though many appear in both top 20s). Several objects are represented far less proportionally in Oceania than globally; vessels, religious objects, pottery items, toys and games, boxes, writing related items and measurement items.

If you want to compare remaining Melanesian top types to the global top types then see global report and descending order list of Melanesian objects given above the table above.

Sub-regions of Oceania objects / types:

Oceania Melanesia

Clothing - 596

Figures - 709

Music - 458

Ornaments & Beads - 2,780

Pottery - 116

Religion - 337

Specimens - 391

Tools - 2,147

Vessels - 549

Weapons - 4,019

Oceania priorities not reflected in the global top 10:

Basketry - 522

Fishing - 537

Food - 588

Narcotics - 647

Oceania Micronesia

Clothing - 53

Figures - 0

Music - 3

Ornaments & Beads - 103

Pottery - 0

Religion - 2

Specimens - 22

Tools - 56

Vessels - 11

Weapons - 103

Oceania priorities not reflected in the global top 10:

Basketry - 20

Fishing - 87

Food - 21

Narcotics - 4

Oceania Polynesia

Clothing - 191

Figures - 197

Music - 86

Ornaments & Beads - 369

Pottery - 10

Religion - 102

Specimens - 241

Tools - 1,670

Vessels - 137

Weapons - 1,165

Oceania priorities not reflected in the global top 10:

Basketry - 162

Fishing - 404

Food - 164

Narcotics - 75

Definite tools - 2,950

Definite weapons - 4,168

Tools or weapons - 879

Stone definite tools - 2,441

% of definite tools that are stone - 83%

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