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The Use, Fabrication and Conservation of barkcloth

Janie Lightfoot ACR

The focus of this talk will be on diversity of bark cloth or tapa, a non woven material, it will include looking at objects from Asia, Africa, The Pacific, The Caribbean Islands and South America.
The objects will include room dividers, clothing and floor coverings.
It will explore the processes of how it is made, and summarize some of its historic production, it’s uses in functional everyday life, ceremonial purpose including weddings, funerals, and in sacred contexts.
It will expand on the construction of objects and dress, the art, texture and patterns, alongside looking at safe methods for display, its care and conservation needs.


interview met Wim van de Waal die in 1959 bij de Asmat woonde en werkte. Hij schreef daarover een boek.

Joan Veldkamp

Van de Waal had zijn HBS diploma net op zak toen hij door het ‘Ministerie van Zaken Overzee’ werd geselecteerd om bestuursambtenaar te worden in Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea. De onbevangen twintiger kreeg in 1959 een korte opleiding in Hollandia en belandde uiteindelijk op de bestuurspost Pirimapun: een strookje land met een paar hutten en een primitieve landingsbaan in de Asmat, middenin Papoea territory.
Van de Waal werd teruggeworpen in het Stenen Tijdperk. De naaktlopende mannen en vrouwen, met gedraaide schelpen door de neuzen, kettingen van mensen botten en tatoeages, aten uitsluitend sago en vis en ze woonden samen in open, kale hutten waarin het vuur altijd brandde.


Tattooing in the Arctic: An Ancient History

Lars Krutak, PhD

For thousands of years the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic have produced astonishingly rich and diverse forms of tattooing. Long neglected by anthropologists and art historians, tattooing here was a time-honored practice that expressed the patterns of tribal social organization, therapeutic medicine, and religion, while also channeling worlds inhabited by deities, spirits, and the ancestors. This lecture explores the many facets of this ancient indelible practice with special reference to prehistoric ivory figurines. 


A Danish doctor in Dutch East India. The Nias Collection in Copenhagen, from 1600 – to present day

Jesper Kurt Nielsen

Jakob Peter Georg Agner Møller (1892-1976) was stationed as a medical officer on Sumatra, Dutch East India in 1921 with his wife and two children. Møller was a year later stationed on the Island Nias Vest of Sumatra, where he worked until 1927. He was in constant opposition to his parents, wife, colleagues and superiors. Not least due to his alternative lifestyle. He believed in the supernatural, was a vegetarian, embraced nudism, and subscribed to totalitarian world views. He also deviated from most other colonial officers at the time as he learned to speak the local language, reveled in the culture and studied niassian cosmology, in which he firmly believed until he died. He also married a chief’s daughter Zoeri, unfortunately without divorcing his wife, who had left Nias with the children after a short affair with a Dutch officer.


Antique Powderglass Beads From West Africa

Jamey Allen

From the mid-19th century through the early-20th century a corpus of glass beads was manufactured, and possibly made for the use of elite persons in Ghana, West Africa. The beads were manufactured exploiting a technique that is called powderglass beadmaking, and is considered to be “primitive” in relation to conventional glassworking. It appears there may have been two industries, having produced beads that were similar, but not actually the same. The group that is more well-known and esteemed has been popularly called Bodom (pronounced “bah-DAHM”)—though this is not a correct name. The Krobos in up-country Ghana believe they were the makers of this primary group. The other beads, named for those that are large in size and have a specific pattern type are called akoso—this meaning “crossed lines.” The Krobo do not take credit for akoso and similar beads—so their origin is considered to be unknown.