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Cultures and Beliefs of the South Pacific

Cultures and Beliefs of the South Pacific / Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room   November 15, 2016 (Tue) - December 23, 2016 (Fri)

  
Mask, Second half of 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)

Tens of thousands of islands in various sizes are found in the South Pacific. This region is called Oceanina, which lays to the south of the Japanese archipelago. Oceania comprises subregions such as the following:
- Micronesia, which includes Palau and the Island of Guam
- Polynesia, which includes Hawaii and New Zealand
- Melanesia, which includes the islands of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago
Other countries such as Australia are sometimes included within Oceanina. Four thousand years ago, people with Asian origins set out across the sea into the Pacific, developing unique lifestyles and cultures.

Tokyo National Museum's collection includes a number of ethnological materials collected mainly in the 19th to 20th centuries on the South Pacific islands. At that time in the South Pacific, traditional lifestyles and beliefs were rapidly changing due to the influence of modern civilization. Our collection contains invaluable materials that are no longer extant in this region.

From among the ethnological materials from the South Pacific in the collection, this exhibition showcases vessels, clothing, and architectural models associated with traditional lifestyles and rituals. The exhibition aims to offer visitors a glimpse into the region's traditional lifestyles and cultures, which are not widely known despite Japan being the region's "neighbor" across the sea. For comparison, this exhibition also displays ethnological materials from Taiwan, which usually is not considered part of Oceania.

 

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
House Model, Early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Tanaka Umekichi)
Crocodile, Second half of 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Fujikawa Seijiro)
Mask, Second half of 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Yorisada)
Shell Money, Late 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Sakamoto Sugao)
Helmet, Taiwan, Second half of 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Yamato Iwataro)
Armor, Taiwan, Second half of 19th-early 20th century (Gift of Mr. Yamato Iwataro)

 

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