Visits to the collections

February - May, 2012 — Joshua Drew, Ph.D. (formerly of the Biodiversity Synthesis Center - Field Museum, currently of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY)

Reason for visit — In February Joshua Drew went on a tour of the Fijian collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher Philipp.  During this visit Josh asked whether or not the Anthropology collections had any shark tooth weapons from the Gilbert Islands in Micronesia.  While it was evident that there were many such weapons in the collection, the exact count was uncertain as the database did not list materials for all probable objects.  

Philipp and volunteer Katie Roberts (now of George Washington University, Washington D.C.) performed an inventory of the materials used in the construction of all the potential weapons from the Gilbert Islands.  They found that there were exactly 124 objects with either one shark tooth or, as in most cases, many shark teeth, used in their construction.  They also updated the Museum’s database to include all of the materials present in these collections.

Between the months of February and May Drew and Philipp made several trips into the collection and pulled several cart loads of weapons to closely examine the types of shark teeth represented in each of the weapons.  Once Drew is finished evaluating these collections the identifications and photos taken during the visits will be added to the Museum’s database.

Below is a submission from Josh describing his visit:

Sharks have played an important role in the culture and economy of the people of Gilbert Islands within the Republic of Kiribati.  However their reefs, like many throughout the world, have undergone a period of rapid and intensive environmental perturbation over the past 100 years.  A byproduct of these changes has been a reduction of the number of shark species present in their waters.  Using a novel data source - the Shark Tooth Weapons of the Gilbertese Islanders - we hope to reconstruct which species of sharks were present in the Gilbert Islands in the late 19th century, fully 50 years before the first western scientific ichthyologic inventories on the reef took place.

By comparing the high resolution images of the shark teeth on the weapons to field guides to sharks, and specimens within the holdings in the Division of Fishes, we have identified at least two species of shark which are found on the weapons but were have not been recorded as occurring in the Gilbert Islands.  However using nontraditional forms of data is not without potential pitfalls.  This discrepancy between the historical record and our observed findings could occur from the teeth originating in other areas, the shark species being overlooked or the species being extirpated from the waters by the time intensive fish surveys were carried out.  There are extensive linguistic, ethnographic and material culture records supporting shark fishing as being an important part of the Glibertese culture.  Coupled with few records of widespread trade networks, it is reasonable to assume that the vast majority of the shark teeth originated in fish that were caught by Gilbertese fishers.  The species of shark that we have identified are conspicuous and have been easily identified by researchers in other studies where they co-occur and we have little reason to doubt that misidentification could cause this disconnect.  Several studies have shown that shark populations are easily susceptible to population collapse and we cannot rule out that the species present in the 1840-1890s were not depleted to such low numbers that they were not recorded in subsequent fishery records.

In conclusion this work highlights the kinds of innovative multidisciplinary research that natural history museums can engender. Moreover it underscores the importance of museum collections in allowing researchers to address changes in both the biological and cultural diversity within a region.

Detail of one shark tooth on catalog number 39681. - weapon from the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati

(© 2012, Christopher J. Philipp)

Volunteer Katie Roberts and Joshua Drew, Ph.D. discussing shark tooth weapon, catalog number 947.99044., received in 1905 from the Hamburg Umlauff Museum.

(© 2012, Christopher J. Philipp)

Joshua Drew, Ph.D. studying catalog number 2616.274837 - shark tooth weapon from the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati, part of the A.W.F. Fuller Collection received in 1958.

(© 2012, Christopher J. Philipp)

For more recent news related to this research please see the following:


May 9-13, 2011 Dr. Katherine Szabó (University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia)

Reason for visit Dr. Szabó visited with Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp and Collections Manager Jamie Kelly for one week in order to conduct preliminary research on the Museum’s  A. B. Lewis and Fay Cooper Cole collections.  Kat was primarily interested in looking at ethnographic shell items for comparison with shell fragments found at archaeological sites in the Pacific as she is trying to develop more effective methodologies for identifying and interpreting shell-working.  Below is a summary submitted by Dr. Szabó documenting the success of her visit and some photographs from her visit including some she took while looking under a microscope:

Research on shell objects within the Regenstein Pacific Collections

Dr Katherine Szabó

University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Within the extensive Pacific Island material culture collections amassed by Field Museum curator Albert Buell Lewis are many objects produced in, or utilising, marine shell.  From simple knives and vegetable preparation tools to complex and intricate objects such as strings of tiny beads utilised as money, shell was a raw material of fundamental importance across the islands of Melanesia.  The importance of shell as a raw material is also attested archaeologically, with shell adzes, beads, fishhooks, bracelets and other objects recovered from archaeological sites across Melanesia.

While heavily modified shell objects like fishhooks and beads are easily recognisable to archaeologists, the simpler tools as well as unfinished artefacts and production waste tend not to be so readily identifiable.  It is often difficult to distinguish between breakage and modification caused by the shell’s use as a tool, breakage to facilitate the extraction of the animal for consumption, or damage to the shell caused by incidental processes such as trampling by humans or animals.  To complicate matters further, different types of shells will tend to fracture differently according to their overall design as well as variation in the way it’s constructed at the micro-level.  These difficulties in positively identifying and describing shell artefacts are amplified with older regional sites, where tool forms are generally simpler than their later counterparts.

Dr. Katherine Szabó of the Centre for Archaeological Science, University of Wollongong, Australia, is currently being funded by the Australian Research Council to work on developing methodologies to get around these various issues with the identification of shell artefacts to provide a more balanced view of ancient Asia-Pacific technologies.  A selection of shell objects from the Regenstein Pacific collections form a pivotal part of this research.

Not only is the A.B. Lewis collection of Melanesian material culture large, but it is exceptional in the amount of accompanying information on individual objects as well as Lewis’ foresight in collecting “everyday” and unfinished objects as well as more elaborate artefacts.  Under the microscope, the many unfinished shell objects show the traces of the tools used to form them, and the various shell knives and scrapers reveal diagnostic traces of the activities that modified them such as peeling taro corms and scraping out coconut flesh.  The archival information attached to each object allows specific tasks and tools to be linked to particular traces of wear, modification and damage on the surfaces and edges of artefacts.  It is this information which allows archaeologists to more confidently interpret the surfaces of ancient shell artefacts and infer on their use.

February 11, 2011 Jessica Jernigan (Collections Manager, Witte Museum, San Antontio, TX)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp toured the Collections Resource Center with Jessica Jernigan and guests looking at the different ways ethnographic collections are stored and housed at the Field Museum.  Particular attention was given to our Oversize, Pacific, and African collections and how these collections are organized, accessed, and cared for in the CRC storage facility and utilizing the Spacesaver compactors units.

December 14, 2010 Gloria Chantell (Exhibitions Department, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp toured Pacific collections with Gloria Chantell in search of inspiration for the development of an icon to be used in conjunction with an event associated with the  upcoming traveling exhibit Whales: Giants of the Deep.  Gloria was very impressed and snapped several images  of figures, posts, shields, and masks for later reference.

November 23, 2010
Tom Skwerski, Susan Phillips, and Mark Kennedy (Exhibitions Department, The Field Museum
, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp showed members of the Museum's Exhibition Design team a Maori kahu kiwi (feather cloak) that is scheduled to be added to the upcoming traveling exhibit from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: Whales: Giants of the Deep (scheduled to open at Field Museum on May 20, 2011) -

Maori kahu kiwi collected by A.W.F. Fuller - catalog number 2616.273650.

(© 1978, The Field Museum - Ron Testa)

June 2, 2010
Tom Ricketts (Chairman of the Chicago Cubs, and the chief executive officer of Incapital LLC
, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp was able to impress our guest with a quick introduction to the Pacific collections when he encountered Field Museum President John McCarter on a tour of the Museum with  Mr. Ricketts. 

June 1 - June 11, 2010
Chris Wingfield (Ph.D Candidate, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
/ Lecturer: Understanding Global Heritage, The Open University)

Reason for visit Mr. Wingfield visited with Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp for two weeks in order to conduct doctoral research on the museum and collections of the London Missionary Society, some of which are now part of the Fuller collection at the Field Museum (his proposed thesis title is The Moving Objects of the London Missionary Society).  Chris was primarily interested in trying to identify these objects, as our database did not previously indicate whether they had originally been a part of the LMS collections.  In order to do so much time was spent looking at the Museums paper documentation, listening to the sonoband recordings of Fuller, and by looking at collections with Philipp in order to identify original LMS tags.  Below is an account submitted by Chris Wingfield documenting the success of his visit.

Chris Wingfield sorting through catalog cards for Fuller's collections in search of confimration of the specimens having been originally part of the London Missionary Society's collections

(© 2010, Christopher J. Philipp)

Chris Wingfiled in Anthropology Records Room listening to Sonoband audio recordings made between curator Roland W. Force and collector Alfred W. Fuller

(© 2010, Christopher J. Philipp)

Research Visit to Chicago28th May – 12th June 2006 by Chris Wingfield:

The main focus of my research trip, funded as a study visit abroad by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, was to work on the Fuller collection held by the Field Museum in Chicago. Fuller was a twentieth century private collector of ethnographic material, who in 1958 sold his collection of Pacific material to the Field Museum. I had come across references to Fuller purchasing material from the London Missionary Society museum in archival letters, and had also acquired a copy of a catalogue of the LMS museum which had belonged to Fuller, in which he had marked the items that he thought belonged to him.

What was really exciting about the trip to Chicago was not just the chance to identify which objects Fuller had bought from the LMS, but the recordings the Field Museum had of Fuller describing his collection, and its origins. The Field Museum had sent their curator, Raymond Force to visit Fuller in his house to make recordings of Fuller talking about the objects in his collection. These had been made on Sonobands, and old form of tape recording. Abbreviated transcriptions of these recordings had been made at the time, but more recently the recordings had also been digitized. These recordings offered the possibility of hearing Fuller talk about the objects he had acquired from the LMS and why he felt they were important, but also talk about the circumstances in which he had acquired them.

On arrival in Chicago, the first problem became to identify those objects which had come from the LMS among the 9158 objects at the Field Museum that are associated with Fuller. The original 1958 acquisition involved 6908 objects, but had been followed by a number of further donations, which added to this figure. The current database does not include information about the origins of the objects, beyond their acquisition from Fuller, but it was found that the card catalogue which had been compiled based on the transcriptions of the sonoband recordings did include this information. Much of the first week of the research was spent working through the card catalogue, looking for references to the London Missionary Society collection.

The initial concentration was on the 1958 acquisition, because it was for these objects that the sonoband recordings had been made. It was possible, on this basis to identify 132 objects that Fuller had identified as having come from the LMS collection. In addition he recorded four dates on which he acquired material from the LMS:

·         May 31st 1910 (2)

·         August 31st 1912 (1)

·         December 4th 1928 (26)

·         December 4th 1936 (2)

The majority of objects (101), however, had no date of acqusition recorded by Fuller. Going through the card catalogues also made it possible to identify a number of other objects in Fuller’s collection which had connections with the LMS. Fuller also seems to have acquired 26 objects from the Dr. Ralph Wardlaw Thompson, Foreign Secretary to the LMS 1881-1914. These were acquired on:

–August 9th 1912 (20)

–November 19th 1912 (1)

–June 25th 1913 (4)

–Posthumously from his successor on September 2 1932         

22 of these were from Papua New Guinea, 1 from New Caledonia, 1 from Vanuatu, 1 from Niue and 1 from Tokelau. The Fuller collection also includes material connected to John Williams (3), Wyatt Gill (2), Captain Hoare (1) and a collection of arrows from Papua New Guinea collected by a Samoan missionary and given to James Bryant (7) -all of whom had LMS connections. In addition, the Fuller collection also included 5 bows and 27 arrows that may have been collected by James Chalmers and Harry Scott in PNG and the Torres Straits from Cheshunt college, a congregational training institution with strong LMS links.

On the basis of these identifications it was possible to look at the transcriptions and listen to the digitized versions of the sonoband recording that related to these objects. These included some very interesting accounts of Fuller’s transactions with the LMS:

In 1910, according to his own account Fuller “simply bought up anything the British Museum didn't have, virtually a gift from the London Missionary…I knew Wardlaw Thompson who was the president. And I knew far better, the Rev. Neville Jones…Neville Jones was at the same public school as me…Joyce [from the British Museum] came down and got some other idols and got those, then there was still a lot left. Jones said to me, "Would you like a picking here," so he had Balfour [from the Pitt Rivers Museum] and myself come down and get a picking. So Jones had us give a shilling for things. We took turns and chose.

The second main acquisition of LMS material by Fuller seems to have occurred in 1928:

the pieces [were] in the council chamber of the society, 30 or 40 feet up on the wall arranged as a great star… when I bought the London Missionary collection things, they said well you can’t get those down, it would cost to much, you must have, it was too long for any ladder. We have now no ladder to get up there you see. You will have to wait until we can get them down…

Neville Jones happened to be back in England…He came down here one day… and said ‘You know boy, you’d better hurry up with those, those clubs, I saw Beasley very longingly, lovingly fingering them….Well I don’t trust any collector, {Laughs}  Beasley especially and I said I’ll go and see about it at once so I rang up Chamberlain and made an appointment straight away..

Both of these accounts suggest the close personal relationships that existed between LMS officers, museum curators such as Balfour and Joyce, and private collectors such as Fuller. The second account also suggests the degree of competition that existed between Fuller and Beasley as private collectors of ethnographic material. They are also suggestive of the disregard with which the LMS seems to have treated their collections, in contrast to the way in which they were sought after by Fuller, Beasley as well as Balfour.

 In the copy of the 1860 catalogue which belonged to Fuller, and is now at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, Fuller marked 61 items with crosses, as being in his collection. 30 were from the Pacific, 27 from Africa, 3 from Madagascar and 1 from the Caribbean. It was possible to identify 26 of these from the Pacific on the basis of the Sonaband recordings.

 By looking at the catalogue cards, as well as the labels attached to them, it was possible to identify two objects from Madagascar, one club from Guyana, as well as thirty objects from southern Africa, all from the LMS collection. In the second week, it was possible to see and photograph 101 objects from the Fuller collection that had been in the LMS museum, and in many cases to identify labels that had been used by the LMS. It was possible to import data from the Field Museum database in relation to all these objects into my own research database and to supplement this with images and transcriptions of the catalogue cards, of the objects themselves, and with transcriptions of the sonoband recordings. I anticipate that all of these resources will be extremely useful when it comes to writing a chapter on the dispersal of the LMS collections, and their passage into the hands of both institutional museum collections, as well as those of private collectors such as Fuller and Beasley, which in most cases ended up in institutional collections eventually.

May 22, 2010
Boy Scouts Archaeology Merit Badge workshop participants

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp and Collections Management Assistant Andrew Leith led a behind-the-scenes tour of the Department's Oversize collections for a group of 20 Boy Scouts participating in an Archaeology Merit Badge workshop organized by the Museum’s Education Department.  One of the Scout Leaders later sent in the following image.

Chris and some Scouts enraptured by the cool stuff they were being shown (in this case, a shield collected by A.B. Lewis from the North Coast of Papua New Guinea)

May 11, 2010 Alan Francisco (Registrar, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp introduced the Anthropology Department’s new registrar to the Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian holdings.  He was impressed to say the least!

May 6, 2010
Dr. Linda Giles and students (Professor of Sociology, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp and Collections Management Assistant Ryan Gross led a behind-the-scenes tour of the Department's Oversize collections for Dr. Giles and her class of 12 students. 

May 5, 2010
Maria Pinto (Artist / Fashion Designer, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Earlier this year, Maria Pinto was invited by The Women’s Board of The Field Museum to participate in a presentation for their Women in Science Fellowship program.  For this year, the event utilized several objects from the Anthropology Collections that exhibited interesting textures.  Items from all over the globe were displayed tables in the Museum’s James Simpson Theater.  Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp participated in this event and stationed a display of a cuirass (protective armor) made of coconut fiber with designs in human hair, a fish skin protective helmet, and wood and shark’s tooth weapon from Kiribati.  By using these these textiles and costumes Maria Pinto delivered a program that might inspire today’s designers!

April 23, 2010 Dr. Dean E. Arnold and students (Professor of Anthropology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL)

Reason for visit Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp and Collections Management Assistant Andrew Leith led a behind-the-scenes tour of the Department's Oversize collections for Dr. Arnold and his class from Wheaton College.  Beforehand, the group was also treated to a lecture on site at the Museums Marae from Dr. John Terrell about his ongoing research on the collections at the Field Museum including a history of Ruatepupuke II.  

April 12, 2010 Elizabeth A. Akana (“The Hawaiian Quilter” Teacher / Lecturer / Author, Boulder, Colorado)

Reason for visit Elizabeth A. Akana returned to take a closer look at the lone Hawaiian quilt (catalog number 3601.259778.) in the Field Museum’s Pacific collections.  Elizabeth previously visited in November of 2009.  On this return visit, the quilt was unrolled and both sides viewed and investigated utilizing the open space in the front of the Pacific storeroom in the Collections Resource Center.  Elizabeth took detailed measurements and  photographs, including close-ups of the seams.  Elizabeth also received permission from Dr. Terrell to take a sample of the batting used inside the quilt.  Elizabeth recorded all of this information on forms for Laurie Woodard of the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project.  Philipp later provided copies of the documentation on the quilt to the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project.  The quilt is now registered by the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project, which to date has recorded most all the quilts at most of the museums in Hawaii - numbering over 1,000 privately owned and museum quilts.  Now that the quilt at the Field Museum is registered, all future information found on this quilt or its pattern by the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project will be shared with us.

April 12 and 13, 2010 Dr. Alice Storey (Lecturer, Department of Archaeology and Palaeoanthropoloy, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia)

Reason for visit For several years Dr. Storey has been in communication with the Department in attempts to locate chicken bones excavated by Dr. Reinman.  Regenstein Collections Manager has never been able to locate these chicken bones in the collections - as none of the faunal material was indicated as such in the Museum's database.  On these two days in April Dr. Storey visited the archaeological collections from Micronesia in the Museum's holdings in hopes of finding the elusive chicken bones with Philipp!  Below is Dr. Storey's abstract for research for this visit:

The density and distribution of chicken remains in Pacific archaeological sites is important to understanding issues related to husbandry, the dispersal routes for specific domesticates and even trade and exchange. The earliest documented assemblages of chicken remains in Micronesia appear to be from Guam with counts of 81 individual chicken bones for the Inarajan Village Site, 38 for the Nomna Bay Site and three for the Tolofofo River Valley site (Reinman 1968). However, several authors have stated there is no compelling evidence for the presence of pig, dog or chicken in pre-contact deposits in the Marianas (Rainbird 2004: 125, Steadman 2006: 89). This absence is argued to represent a true lack of chickens as extensive excavations which have taken place in the region since have failed to result in the recovery of chicken bones (Wickler 2004: 37). This has led to questions about the security of the chickens that Reinman (1986) reported from Guam.  Intoh (1991, 2008) suggests that the material from Reinman’s Nomna site could be mixed, as glass and metal were recovered from the lowest stratum. The upper levels of the Inarajan Village site were also reported as mixed with historic materials. Reinman (1968: 24) stated that while there was some blending of materials most of the artifacts found below stratum I were of prehistoric manufacture. While there is no stratigraphic information for the chicken remains, Reminman’s assertion that they were in a prehistoric context and the number of remains, particularly at the Inarajan Village site, is suggestive of a prehistoric provenience. It is essential that a more detailed examination be made of the chickens, their stratigraphic provenience (if the information exists) and the nature of the assemblage recovered from chicken bearing strata in order to assess the likelihood that Reinman did indeed encounter prehistoric chicken remains in his excavations in Guam.

Intoh, M.
1991 Archaeological Research on Fais Island: Preliminary Report. Tokai University.

Intoh, Michiko
2008 Ongoing Archaeological Research on Fais Island, Micronesia. Asian Perspectives 47:121-138.

Rainbird, Paul
2004 The archaeology of Micronesia. Cambridge University Press, New York.

Reinman, Fred M.
1968 Guam Prehistory: A Preliminary Field Report. In Prehistoric culture in Oceania : a symposium, edited by I. Yawata and Yosihiko H. Sinoto, pp. 41-50. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Reinman, Fred R.
1977 An archaeological survey and preliminary test excavations on the island of Guam, Mariana Islands, 1965-1966. Micronesian Area Research Center University of Guam, [Agana, Guam].

Steadman, David W.
2006 Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Wickler, Stephen
2004 Modelling Colonisation and Migration in Micronesia from a Zooarchaeological Perspective. In Colonisation, migration, and marginal areas : a zooarchaeological approach, edited by Mariana Mondini, Sebastián Munõz, and Stephen Wickler., pp. 28-40. Oxbow, Oxford.

As a result of Dr. Storey's visit we believe we finally have an answer to the mystery of the missing chicken bones in the collection.  After looking through all of the faunal material it appears that the original excavators and catalogers identified all bird bones as "chicken" that were excavated. So, Dr. Storey did not find the chicken bones she was hoping to use in her research, but has contributed to clarifying the mystery of our "missing" chicken bones!

Dr. Alice Storey sorting through faunal material collected by Dr. Fred Reinman in the 1950s

(© 2010, Christopher J. Philipp)

Dr. Alice Storey pointing out bird bones from Reinman's excavations that were not match for those of chickens

(© 2010, Christopher J. Philipp)

March 11 and 12, 2010 Field Museum Members
Reason for visit On March 11th and 12th, 2010 the Museum held its 59th annual Members' Nights.  During these 2 nights thousands of people once again had the chance to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at the Museum.  The Museum's Pacific collections were not highlighted this year as the 28 crates packed with the 140 items included from the Field Museum for the Moana Exhibition in Mexico City were finally scheduled to ship out on the 13th of March. 

March 5, 2010 Jessie Dorsz and students (President of Society of Student Anthropologists, Illinois State University, Normal, IL)

Chris Philipp led a behind-the-scenes tour of The Department's Oversize collections and Pacific Collections for 4 members of Illinois State University's Society of Student Anthropologists (SOSA).

February 22, 2010 Maria Pinto (Artist / Fashion Designer, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Maria Pinto was invited by The Women’s Board of The Field Museum to participate in a presentation and luncheon this coming spring in order to raise money for their Women in Science Fellowship program.  Their goal is to share with the larger community the riches of The Field Museum.  Regenstein Collections Manager Chris Philipp assisted in setting set up this initial behind-the-scenes tour with Anthropology curators and collections managers to explore artifacts to be potentially used for this program.  While visiting the Pacific collections, Philipp highlighted for consideration collections from the Pacific Islands such as fiber girdles from Fiji, armor and weapons from Kiribati, masks from New Ireland and Vanuatu, and feather capes and cloaks from Hawaii and New Zealand.

February 11, 2010  Dr. Carol Ivory (Associate Dean for Curriculum & Instruction, Washington State University)

Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp gave a tour to Dr. Ivory and Dr. Robin Wright of the CRC Pacific collections and caught up since they last saw each other at the Marquesan Festival of Art in Ua Pou.  Philipp highlighted some of the collections that were brought back from the Marquesas at the end of 2007.

Chris with Dr. Ivory and the Marquesan pahu (drum) during her previous visit in 2007 to discuss the Marquesan collecting trip and to view the Museum's Marquesan holdings

(© 2007, Christopher J. Philipp).

February 2, 2010 Dr. John Bates and Shannon Hackett (Zoology Department - Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Dr. Bates and Hackett visited Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp in the Collections Resource Center in order to try to identify the bird species of unidentified feathers on several artifacts from the Pacific Collections scheduled for loan to the the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City for their Moana Exhibition.  

November 24, 2009 Elizabeth A. Akana and family (“The Hawaiian Quilter” Teacher / Lecturer / Author, Boulder, Colorado)

Reason for visit Elizabeth A. Akana, her husband, niece, and two grandchildren came for a visit to see the lone Hawaiian quilt in the Field Museum’s Pacific collections.  Many years ago Mrs. Akana had visited the Museum to see a piece of tapa that is a companion piece to the quilt.  Mrs. Akana arranged the acquisition for the Museum of this particular quilt, catalog number 3601.259778. from Dorothy K. and Lester J. Will in 1984.  It was moved into the Collections Research Center in 2008 along with the rest of the Hawaiian collections.  Along with Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp, Mrs. Akana was able to reconnect with this quilt and introduce her family to it and other collections from Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

Christopher J. Philipp with Elizabeth A. Akana, Samantha Keliiahonui Lewis, Emily Asher-Perrin (in front), Kyle Kaleookalani Lewis, Kelsey Hicks, and Ronald B. Akana

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Elizabeth A. Akana pointing out the Pua miulana flower design on the quilt to Christopher J. Philipp

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Hawaiian quilt – catalog number 3601.259778.

(© 1984, The Field Museum - Ron Testa)

September 29, 2009 - October 3, 2009 Dr. John E. Terrell and Christopher J. Philipp (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL)

Reason for visit Sometimes Field Museum scientists and staff also make visits!  In September and October of 2009, Regenstein Curator John Terrell and Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher Philipp traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with curatorial and professional staff working within the Smithsonian Institution.  The overall goal of the trip is captured by the phrase “You can’t claim to be following best practice if the only practice you know is your own.”  However, they also wanted to raise the idea of forming a small collaborative inter-institutional group for addressing Pacific Island and Pacific Island collections issues.  Additionally, John and Chris wanted to learn how the SI is handling the preservation of digital information with an eye on developing protocols and procedures for The Field Museum’s Anthropology Department.  John and Chris also met with Curator of Globalization Anthropology (and Melanesian Anthropology) Dr. Joshua Bell at the U.S. National Museum of Natural History.  With Dr. Bell, John and Chris were able to view the Pacific collections stored at the Smithsonian’s Museum Resource Center in Suitland, Maryland.  In addition to touring the Institution’s 5,000+ piece collection, John was able to examine all of the cassowary bone daggers from the North Coast of New Guinea in the Smithsonian’s holdings.  This complements the current research he is doing with Research Associate Esther Schechter (Anthropology) on like collections here at the Museum.  Carrie Beaucamp, Data Manager at the Smithsonian, also gave John and Chris a tour of the National Museum's impressive Oversize storage area.  Finally, John and Chris also visited Anne Van Camp, Director of the National Archives of the Smithsonian Institution and Manuel Gancedo of the Institutions Cultural Resource Center and National Museum of the American Indian.  

October 5 - 6, 2009 Roger Blackley (Senior Lecturer, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Victoria UniversityWellington, New Zealand) 

Reason for visit Roger Blackley stopped in Chicago in October to look at several items from the A.W.F. Fuller collection.  Professor Blackley’s principal research target is the artist and collector, Horatio Gordon Robley, who was acquaintance and correspondent of Captain Fuller’s.  Professor Blackley was also interested in examining a number of articles known to be the work of Edward Little (see Christopher C. Legge's "Little Fakes").  With Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp, Professor Blackly was able to inspect a range of artifacts considered to be Maori, including those that were identified as European made or spurious by A.W.F. Fuller, as well as others that originated from other sources.  One such highlight of the trip was a carved jawbone that entered the Field Museum as part of T.E. Donne’s collection in 1924 (catalog number 1502.160027.).  Professor Blackley later encountered documentation outside the Museum that suggests that this jawbone was acquired by H.G. Robley before ending up in the hands of T.E. Donne. 

Professor Blackley examining a “Maori” putorino, identified - as spurious / European made by A.W.F. Fuller (catalog number 2616.277604.)

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Professor Blackley looking through photo albums and catalog records in the Anthropology Department’s records room

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Professor Blackley examining a “Maori” club made from a jawbone (catalog number 1502.160027.)

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

September 21 - September 24, 2009
Dr. Patrica Te Arapo Wallace (Research Associate from the
Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand)
Reason for visit A recent visitor to the Field was Dr Patricia Te Arapo Wallace.  Travel funding for her research of early Maori textiles held in USA museums was subsidised by a 2009 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship.

Patricia’s Ph.D. was on traditional Maori dress, with a focus on recovering semi-forgotten details of pre-1820 practice.  She first visited the Field Museum in 2002, but on this latest visit her focus was on the details of early Maori weaving techniques: commencements, attachments, methods of finishing, etc. in line with her growing interest in the recovery of indigenous technology. While Maori weaving practice is very strong in New Zealand, some of the earlier techniques ‘have slipped under the radar’ with the passage of time, the process of colonization and the adoption of European dress and culture.  She found the substantial Fuller collection and other material at the Field to be a very valuable resource.

With pressure of time, and a very tight budget, Patricia had developed a research technique that relied heavily on the use of her digital camera, in combination with a traditional linen thread counter. 

When she returns to New Zealand, Patricia’s intention is produce a book that will make these Maori taonga (treasures) more widely known; and by including images that local weavers can ‘read’, she hopes to contribute to the trans-generational transfer of traditional knowledge.  We can be quietly confident that material from the Field collections will feature significantly in such a book.

Dr. Patricia Te Arapo Wallace and Chris Philipp discussing details of fringe and hukahuka tassels on korowai (cloak made of flax)

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Dr. Patricia Te Arapo Wallace photographing fine detail using a linen thread counter

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

Example of magnified detail showing thread count and unusual cut finish to taniko border

(© 2009, Dr. Patricia Te Arapo Wallace)

Dr. Patricia Te Arapo Wallace examing results with Field Museum volunteer Helen Samuels

(© 2009, Christopher J. Philipp)

July 27, 2009
Janet Echelman and David Feldman (Artist)
Reason for visit Janet Echelman, an American artist specializing in public art installations and sculpture,  along with her husband David Feldman, toured the collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp.  During the visit several fishing traps and nets from Papua New Guinea (New Britain and the Northen Coast) were viewed and investigated by the group.  Some of Janet's major installations include the Phoenix Civic Space (opened in 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona) and She Changes (opened in 2005 in Portugal).

July 13, 2009 - August 5, 2009 Terry Dowd Inc. (TDI) (Chicago, IL) -
Reason for visit Over the last several weeks a crew of 6 individuals led by Senior Project Manager Geoff Browne of TDI have been working in the Museum's old Pacific Research Lab (PRL) with Regenstein Conservator, JP Brown, Registrar, Misty Tilson, and Regenstein Collections Manager, Christopher Philipp, to pack the objects form the Pacific collections traveling to México for the "Moana" Exhibition.  In total, some 28 crates with the 140 items (represented by 124 catalog numbers) and their corresponding exhibit mounts were readied for shipment to México.  The "Moana" Exhibition, organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), was originally scheduled to open on September 1st in Monterrey, México, however, due to a delay, is now being rescheduled for a later date.

Packing of Kiribati Suit of Armor:

July 8, 2009 - August 7, 2009
Michael F. Seiler (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Reason for visit Mike Seiler has spent the summer as an intern in the Department of Anthropology working with conservator JP Brown.

Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy using Attenuated Total Reflection is an instrumental analysis technique which gives information on the type and frequency of molecular bonds present in a material.  This technique is particularly useful for identifying organic materials where straight elemental analysis such as ICPMS or EDS will just tell you that you have a lot of carbon.  ATR is an internal reflection technique that provides very good sample-to-sample result consistency.  (More on all this at for those who are interested.)

FTIR spectra can be analyzed peak-by-peak to reveal the molecular bonds present and thus give an indication of the material under analysis.  This comparison can be carried out by computer -- the spectrum of the sample being compared against a library of known spectra.  Standard reference libraries of FTIR-ATR spectra are available (e.g., Sigma-Aldrich ATR Reference Library).  While these libraries provide excellent characterization of many pure modern organic substances, they do not function well for the identification of modern conservation materials or for the identification of materials from which ethnographic objects are constructed. Mike assembled two reference libraries of FTIR-ATR spectra from known and well-provenienced sources utilizing the Anthropology conservation section's Smith's Detection IdentifyIR.

1. materials used in the conservation of museum objects with particular emphasis on natural and man-made polymers, and on inorganic and organic pigments and fillers.  Reference materials for this library were drawn from the conservation laboratory and the personal collections of the conservation staff.

2. materials used in the construction and repair of ethnographic museum objects, with particular emphasis on natural polymers, on organic and inorganic pigments, and on the degradation products of these materials. Reference materials for this library were drawn from the Economic Botany Collection at the Field Museum under the supervision of Christine Niezgoda.

Following from the establishment of these two libraries, Mike proceeded with the analysis of the substrates and pigments of production of tapa paintings in the Department of Anthropology's Pacific collection with a view to producing a publishable paper.

Michael F. Seiler, summer intern working in the Regenstein Lab

(© 2009, JP Brown)

June 22, 2009 - August 12, 2009
Madi Holland (student of Connecticut Wesleyan University)
Reason for visit Madi Holland has spent the summer as an intern in the Department of Anthropology working with collections manager Christopher Philipp. 

June 8, 2009 - August 12, 2009
Jessica Hagemann (graduate of Notre Dame University)
Reason for visit Jessica Hagemann has spent the summer as an intern in the Department of Anthropology working with collections manager Christopher Philipp.

April 21, 2009
David Said (Editor, Oceanic Art Society Newsletter, Woolahra, New South Wales, Australia)
Reason for visit — Mr. Said paid the Museum's Pacific exhibitions several visits during the week and also had the chance to tour the Pacific collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp.  Mr. Said was interested in seeing objects from the famous A.W.F. Fuller and A.B. Lewis Collections.  Mr. Said said that he had always wished to see the NguzuNguzu (war canoe prow charm) from the Solomon Islands that was proported to have incorporated in its construction, the spectacles of a missionary that was killed and eaten in the Solomons.  It just so happened that this item is one of the pieces selected to travel to Mexico later this year and was sitting out on a table in the front of the storage room for Mr. Said to see.  Philipp showed Mr. Said the old PRL storeroom as well as the Oversize storeroom in the Collections Resource Center so that he could see how the Museum has upgraded its storage facilities since 2000.

April 6-9, 2009
Carlos Mondragón (Centro de Estudios de Asia y África – El Colegio De México, México City, México)
Reason for visit On his first return visit to the Field Museum, Dr. Mondragón spent the better part of the week meeting with several museum staff members in regards to the "Moana" Exhibition organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).  While it was Carlos' main goal to research the archives and records for label information for the now 140 items represented by 124 catalog numbers, he also attended to questions regarding the photography of collections for the exhibition catalog for which he is the editor.  Dr. Mondragón also had time to do a quick survey of his area of interest, the Banks and Torres Islands of Vanuatu with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp.  Philipp recorded Dr. Mondragón as he explained the uses, functions, and significance of many of the over 160 items from these island groups in northern Vanuatu.  Carlos also informed the Museum that there has been a change in plans and that the "Moana" Exhibition is now scheduled to open at the Nave Lewis in Monterrey and then travel at the Museum of Anthropology in México City.



Dr. Carlos Mondragon in CRC Pacific Storage viewing and recording information about the Vanuatu collections from the Banks and Torres Islands

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

March 27 and 28, 2009 Dr. Ramón P. Santos (Executive Director, University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology) and Monica Santos (Ph.D. student at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana)

Reason for visit Collections managers Christopher J. Philipp and Jamie Kelly hosted a visit to the Museum’s extensive collections from the Philippine Islands by Dr. Ramón P. Santos and his daughter, Monica Santos.  It was Dr. Santos’ intent to examine the over 300 musical instruments in the collection for the purpose of comparing these, mostly turn of the century instruments, with those, mostly dating to the 1950s, at the University of the Philippines Center of Ethnomusicology.  With limited time and since the collections were so rich, the group only looked at about one third of the musical instruments in the storerooms.  However, while visiting the Oversize storeroom in the Collections Resource Center, Dr. Santos and his daughter were shown a percussion beam from Palawan that Dr. Santos had not previously encountered.  Afterwards the group visited the records room and Philipp pulled out a photo taken in 1908 by the collector, Fay Cooper-Cole, of the same musical instrument illustrating the women who played this instrument. According to Dr. Santos, this instrument is most likely not being made or used currently.  Dr. Santos and his daughter also met with the Pacific Island and Southeast Asia Curatorial Team curators, Dr. Anne Underhill and Dr. John Terrell and also had time to visit Ruatepupuke II with Philipp.  This was hopefully the first of many interactions to come between the Field Museum and the University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology -


March 12 and 13, 2009
Field Museum Members

Reason for visit On March 12th and 13th, 2009 the Museum held its 58th annual Members' Nights.  During these 2 nights some 14,000 people had the chance to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at the Museum.  This year visitors once again were able to visit the storeroom in the Collections Resource Center dedicated to the Pacific Collections and meet the Collections Manager and Move Team Members responsible for moving the 65,000 piece Pacific collection into the new facility.  Highlighted by the team this year was a selection of the more than 130 artifacts from the collection that represents the largest loan on record for the Anthropology Department.  This collection is currently being conserved and prepared for travel for an exhibition touring at two Mexican Museums: the National Museum of Cultures, in Mexico City (September 20-November 22, 2009) and then at the Nave Lewis in Monterrey (December 10, 2009-February 8, 2010).


February 17 and 20, 2009
Dr. Pauline Van Der Zee (University of Ghent, Arts Sciences, Belgium)

Reason for visit Dr. Van Der Zee, while visiting the United States for a conference in Minneapolis, decided to pay us a visit to see what we have in our Pacific collections.  She toured the collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp and was overwhelmed by the quantity of material (2,222 objects) from her area of interest; West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia.  She also had lunch with Philipp and Dr. John Terrell.  She also scheduled a return visit later in the week in order to look at just a few pieces of particular interest; a mbis pole and parts of a men's initiation house brought to the Museum in the 1991 and  given to the Field Museum by yayasan kemajuan dan pengembangan asmat (The Asmat Progress and Development Foundation) as well as older figural house parts collected by A.B. Lewis between 1909 and 1913.  We expect to hear back from Dr. Van Der Zee in the near future as there just wasn't time to look at all of the pieces of interest in such a short amount of time!

February 17 and 20, 2009
   Yu-Ping Chen (The National Taiwan University)

Reason for visit Yu-Ping and Jesse Czekanksimoir of the Field Museum's Zoology Department toured the Pacific collections with  and Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp.  Yu Ping worked together with Czekanksimoir while at the Palau National Museum.  She is currently working on finishing her PhD on land tenure systems of Palau.

February 16-18, 2009
Raffaela Cedraschi (Museo Nacional de las Culturas / National Institute of Anthropology and History, México City, México)

Reason for visit Dr. Cedraschi paid us a return visit in order to finalize the selection of objects to be loaned from the Field Museum to INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) for their temporary exhibit on the Pacific set to open later this year.  She also provided a select list of artifacts to be photographed for inclusion in the exhibition's catalog.  The list of objects now includes 138 items represented by 125 catalog numbers and represents the largest loan of objects ever from the Department of Anthropology.  The objects are scheduled to ship from the Field Museum to México in August and will be exhibited in both México City and Monterrey.

February 16-17, 2009
Mark Kent (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand) 

Reason for visit Mark Kent, an object support preparator in mountmaking stopped by to visit Ruatepupke II on his way from Wichita, Kansas, where he was installing the Whales exhibit from Te Papa, to Canada.  While here he also toured the Pacific collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp to see the new CRC storage facility, and met with Regenstein Conservator J.P. Brown, and Pam Gaible, the head of our exhibition's mount shop.

February 12, 2009 Tobias Sperlich (Department of Anthropology, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Reason for visit Tobias Sperlich was here to study whale tooth necklaces from Western Polynesia in an attempt to establish diagnostics to determine between historical and cultural.  While here he looked at about 10 such necklaces in storage with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp.  He also met with and had lunch with Dr. John Terrell.

November 18-21, 2008
Vincent H. Stefan, Ph.D., D-ABFA (Department of Anthropology, Herbert H. Lehman College - CUNY)

Reason for visit Dr. Stefan visited the Museum in order to conduct research on some of the Museum's Pacific Island material, specifically from Polynesia (Easter Island and the Marquesas Islands), Micronesia (Marianas Islands), and Vanuatu.  

November 13, 2008
— Alice Pomponio, Ph.D.
(St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY)
Reason for visit Dr. Pomponio visited the Field Museum’s Pacific collections with Regenstein Curator Dr. John Terrell and Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp to see the new CRC storage facility and our holdings in the Tami/Siassi collections from the Huon Gulf region.  Dr. Pomponio shared several intersting stories regarding her fieldwork in the region.  The group came across several gems in the collections, some of which may lead to further investigation, including a pillow that was collected from the family with whom Dr. Pomponio had  lived while in the area, as well as a mask of tapa cloth (malo in Mutu) the likes of which Dr. Pomponio had never seen before.


Alice Pomponio holding catalog number 268644. (head rest) and with John Terrell discussing catalog numbers 137878. and 138879. (ladles) from the Siassi Islands

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

October 6-10, 2008 —
Raffaela Cedraschi (Museo Nacional de las Culturas / National Institute of Anthropology and History, México City, México)

Reason for visit — Dr. Cedraschi explored the Field Museum’s Pacific collections with Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp during this weeklong visit in hopes of finding appropriate pieces to request for loan for the proposed temporary exhibit on Pacific themes in collaboration with the Field Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa.  Their selection process was informed by the meetings held the week prior with Sean Mallon, Carlos Mondragón, and Philipp, and was assisted by loans conservator Tina Gessler who provided consultation and conservation assessments. Dr. Cedraschi now has a list of over 200 items for possible inclusion in the planned exhibition in 2009 in Mexico City.

Rafaella Cedraschi with conservator Tina Gessler while selecting objects for temporary exhibit in Mexico City

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

October 1-3, 2008
Raffaela Cedraschi (Museo Nacional de las Culturas / National Institute of Anthropology and History, México City, México), Sean Mallon (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand), and Carlos Mondragón (Centro de Estudios de Asia y África – El Colegio De México, México City, México)

Reason for visit — To explore the idea of doing a temporary exhibit in Mexico City on Pacific themes in collaboration with The Field Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand, meetings were held in Chicago to discuss the parameters and possibilities for such an exhibit.  Sean Mallon and Carlos Mondragón, who are either from the Pacific or work in the Pacific, were invited to lend their expertise on Pacific Island matters and with regard to the formulation of this exhibition.  The week was a very successful one and was mainly devoted to fleshing out the main messages and organizational concepts or themes for the exhibition.  Regenstein Collections manager Christopher Philipp represented the Department of Anthropology during these curatorial brainstorming sessions.  The group also toured behind the scenes in exhibits and in the collections, and met with Exhibitions and Anthropology staff to discuss timelines, budgets, and other concerns.  While this was Dr. Cedraschi’s second visit to the Museum, Mallon and Mondragón got their first glimpses of the Museum’s vast Pacific holdings and hope to return in the near future.  The discussions also helped to structure and inform the object selection process that Dr. Cedraschi and Philipp then undertook the following week to develop a preliminary loan list.

Rafaella Cedraschi, Sean Mallon, and Carlos Mondragon meeting with Field Museum staff and visiting the Pacific collections with Chris Philipp

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

July 25, 2008 Mr. and Mrs. David Pugh

Reason for visit  — The Department of Anthropology was recently paid a visit by Mr. and Mrs. David Pugh. Mrs. Betty Pugh, the granddaughter of Dr. Albert B. Lewis, and her husband were able to view many pieces collected by her grandfather between 1909 and 1913 while on the Joseph N. Field Expedition to German, British and Dutch New Guinea on display as well as behind the scenes in collections. Regenstein Collections Manager Christopher J. Philipp and Move Team Collections Assistant Niko Herzog hosted the visit that toured the Museum’s Exhibition Halls, Regenstein Laboratory, old PRL collections storage, new Collections Resource Center, and Department’s records room. Some stories were shared over lunch and photos exchanged regarding A. B. Lewis and his time before and after serving as curator at the Field Museum between 1908 and 1940. Mr. and Mrs. Pugh are currently in the process of donating 2 additional pieces that her grandfather collected while on the 1909-1913 Expedition to add to the Museums holdings of Pacific material culture.

David and Betty Pugh looking at a house plank from Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea collected by A.B. Lewis

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

David and Betty Pugh looking at photos and paperwork with Regenstein Collection Manager Chris J. Philipp

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)

Betty Pugh holding a bark cloth from New Britain collected by A. B. Lewis

(© 2008, Christopher J. Philipp)
June 25, 2008
Caitlin Andrew
and Katie Quinn Nadel (Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin)

Reason for visit — To discuss a possible joint Lawrence University–Regenstein Internships project in 2009 to create a set of guidelines, web pages, and protocols for use of Chicago's Marae by communities outside the Museum for conflict arbitration and multicultural education.

June 23-27, 2008 Raffaela Cedraschi, National Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico City (

Reason for visit To explore the possibility of doing a temporary exhibit in Mexico on Pacific themes in collaboration with The Field Museum and Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.

Raffaela Maria Cedraschi Caverzasio was born in Ticino, Switzerland, on September 13, 1961, and has lived in Mexico since 1983.

She studied to be a translator in the Ubersetzer-und Dolmetscherschule of Zurich between 1979 and 1983.  Once in Mexico, she pursued a career in Ethnology at the National School of Anthropology and History until 1989 and in 1994, did one year of graduate work in Asian and African Studies at the Colegio of Mexico.

In 1985 she was a research assistant at the National Museum of Cultures of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, and in 1987 she became curator of Africa for the museum.  She has participated in various temporary and traveling exhibitions, including "Africa Without Limits: Mexican Collections" (National Museum of Cultures, 1993), and "Body and Spirit of Africa: Collections of Rene Bustamante" (Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, 1998), "Africa: Collections from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco", 2002), as well as the redevelopment of the permanent Hall of Africa for the National Museum of Cultures in 1996 which was awarded honorable mention for the Miguel Covarrubias Design Award (INAH, 1996)

She has many published articles about African art and cultures., like "Africa south of the Sahara" (in Black Africa against Apartheid, Veracruz, IVEC, 1991), "The other face of life: Masks of the World" (brochure that accompanies the exhibition of the same name, Mexico, INAH, 1992), "Africa without limits: Mexican Collections" (Mexico, INAH, 1993), "Forms and Symbols: Reflexions on the significance of African Art" (in African Body and Spirit, Mexico, MACO, 1997) and "The alchemy of forms: African Arts in Mexico" (in Africa: Collections of the Fine Arts Museums in San Francisco, Mexico, INAH, 2002).

May 17, 2008
Eruera Wharehinga (Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare, Tokomaru Bay) and Arapata Hakiwai (Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington)

Reason for visit — Both were revisiting the marae and our collections (they were here with everyone else who came from Aotearoa in April 2007 to participate in the 125th Anniversary Celebrations honoring Ruatepupuke II) as part of the "Close Encounters" hui on the 15th-17th of May.

May 12, 2008 
— Mandy Treagus, Ph.D. (University of Adelaide)

Reason for visit — Dr. Treagus briefly visited the Museum's Polynesian collections to do further research on H. J. Moors and the touring group he organized for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. She was interested in finding out what the Museum received from this group and in viewing those objects. Dr. Treagus discovered that 28 artifacts were originally accessioned from the Oceanic Trading Company (our Accession No. 11) after the World's Columbian Exposition, 23 of which are still in the Museum's holdings (other items such as a 16' long canoe were later exchanged with Museums as far away as Brooklyn). These items still in the Museum included Samoan kava bowls, slit drums, and bamboo pillows. Dr. Treagus shared with us that the touring group organized by Moors was not exclusively Samoan and included other Islanders from around the Pacific.

April 21, 2008 — Robert J. Foster, Ph.D. (University of Rochester)

Reason for visit — In 1939 the Buffalo Museum of Science (New York) fostered an official exchange with The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Buffalo exchanged 134 pieces of Melanesian material culture from their P. G. Black Collection (our Accession No. 2210) for 45 Field Museum objects from Indonesia and Melanesia.  Interested in the former collection and The Field Museum's current holdings of shell money from Melanesia, Dr. Robert J. Foster of the University of Rochester visited the Museum in April to see our collections firsthand.  He also gave us a copy of his 1995 publication entitled Social Reproduction and History in Melanesia: Mortuary ritual, gift exchange, and custom in the Tanga Islands.