Art of Oceania

Chapter 31

On This Day In . . .
Late 1700’s     Captain James Cook and others (re)discover Polynesia
1850s              Christianity has spread throughout Polynesia
1920s              European colonization of most of Oceania complete
1930s              Europeans first contact highlanders in New Guinea

Ancient Cultures, Short History

Function Over Form

Mana, Tapu

Nan Madol
Micronesia, 8th century-17th century CE basalt boulders and prismatic columns

Moai on platform
Easter Island, 12th century-17th century CE volcanic tuff figures on basalt base

‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape)
Hawaii, late 18th century CE feathers and fiber

Staff god
Cook Islands, late 18th century CE wood tapa, fiber, and feathers

Female deity
Micronesia, 18th-19th century CE wood

Hiapo (tapa)
Niue, late 19th century CE tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting

Tamati Waka Nene, Gottfried Landauer
19th century CE oil on canvas

Navigation Chart
Marshall Islands, 19th-20th century CE wood and fiber

Malagan display and mask
Papa New Guinea, 20th century CE wood, pigment, fiber, and shell

  • Nan Madol
  • Nan Madol gate
  • Nan Madol reconstruction
  • Moai
  • ‘ahu ‘ula
  • staff god
  • staff god (wrapped)
  • female deity side view
  • female deity
  • Buk
  • Hiapo
  • Tamati Waka
  • Navigation Chart
  • Malagan Mask
  • Malagan Mask display
  • Processional Welcoming Queen Elizabeth II
Back to Top