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Some important works:


Nan Madol. Pohnpei, Micronesia. Saudeleur Dynasty. c. 700–1600 C.E. Basalt boulders and prismatic columns.

Moai on platform (ahu). Rapa Nui (Easter Island). c. 1100–1600 C.E. Volcanic tuff figures on basalt base.

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‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape). Hawaiian. Late 18th century C.E. Feathers and fiber.

Staff god. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, central Polynesia. Late 18th to early 19th century C.E. Wood, tapa, fiber, and feathers.

Female deity. Nukuoro, Micronesia. c. 18th to 19th century C.E. Wood.

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The Black Ship Scrolls

The Black Ship Scroll, anonymous, 1854
The Black Ship Scroll, anonymous, 1854


See World History I.27 for Japanese history to 1800 and the arrival of Commodore Perry's Black Ships in 1853-1854


Buk (mask). Torres Strait. Mid- to late 19th century C.E. Turtle shell, wood, fiber, feathers, and shell.

Hiapo (tapa). Niue. c. 1850–1900 C.E. Tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting.

Tamati Waka Nene. Gottfried Lindauer. 1890 C.E. Oil on canvas.

Navigation chart. Marshall Islands, Micronesia. 19th to early 20th century C.E. Wood and fiber.

Malagan display and mask. New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. c. 20th century C.E. Wood, pigment, fiber, and shell.
  • Read more about the art of New Ireland here.

Presentation of Fijian mats and tapa cloths to Queen Elizabeth II. Fiji, Polynesia. 1953 C.E. Multimedia performance (costume; cosmetics, including scent; chant; movement; and pandanus fiber/hibiscus fiber mats), photographic documentation.

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Multimedia.png Watch a video discussing a slit gong from Vanuatu, and view photographs which show the sculpture in its original setting.

Some texts to consider:


Donald Rubenstein, "Arts of Micronesia," Prestel, 1999.

View the Metropolitan Museum's online collection of art and objects from the Pacific, as well a collection of essays about these items.