Australian Museum Journal The effect of objects: the return of a north Vanuatu textile from the Australian Museum to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. In A Pacific Odyssey: Archaeology and Anthropology in the Western Pacific. Papers in Honour of Jim Specht

Shortform:
Bolton, 2004, Rec. Aust. Mus., Suppl. 29: 31–36
Author(s):
Bolton, Lissant
Year published:
2004
Title:
The effect of objects: the return of a north Vanuatu textile from the Australian Museum to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. In A Pacific Odyssey: Archaeology and Anthropology in the Western Pacific. Papers in Honour of Jim Specht
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement
Volume:
29
Start page:
31
End page:
36
DOI:
10.3853/j.0812-7387.29.2004.1399
Language:
English
Date published:
19 May 2004
Cover date:
19 May 2004
ISBN:
ISBN 0-9750476-2-0 (printed), ISBN 0-9750476-3-9 (online)
ISSN:
0812-7387
CODEN:
RAMSEZ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ANTHROPOLOGY
Digitized:
19 May 2004
Available online:
19 May 2004
Reference number:
1399
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (16kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (189kb PDF)

Abstract

In 1995 a plaited pandanus textile was repatriated from the Australian Museum to the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. During the process questions about the textile's specific place of manufacture arose. The Australian Museum records indicated that it was a girl's dress collected from the northern part of Pentecost Island. However, through discussions with women fieldworkers from the Vanuatu Cultural Centre about variations in methods of manufacture and designs in different parts of Vanuatu it became clear it was a special type of textile called baru from Maewo which was no longer made. The return of the baru stimulated redefinition of what was known about such objects. For the Cultural Centre fieldworkers it drew attention to items in danger of being no longer made, of loss of skills and knowledge. Accounts of transactions such as this demonstrate both the complexity and the importance of the elationships that can flow through and around museums.