Polynesian collection
Talks & Seminars

RAMM’s Polynesian collection

Among the museum’s most remark­able fea­tures is the col­lec­tion of Poly­ne­sian mate­r­i­al, which includes beau­ti­ful and rare objects.

One of the major strands in the changing understanding of RAMM’s collections over the last 50 years has been the growing appreciation of the international importance of its ethnographic collections.

Exeter, alongside the British Museum and Cambridge University Museum, holds artefacts from each of the three captains who led the official voyages of late 18th-century England: Cook, Bligh and Vancouver.

The most spectacular pieces, including a Tahitian mourner’s costume and a rare helmet and cloak of feather work from Hawaii, were connected to people of high status, but there are also more everyday objects reflecting Polynesian society in the 18th century.

This talk, followed by a tour of the collection, will be delivered by RAMM’s ethnography curator Tony Eccles and archaeologist John Allan and will give an introduction to the collection and outline the story of how modern research has reconstructed the connections between the objects at RAMM and the voyages of the Georgian navy.