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Gold lipped pearl shell

Date: 1917 - 1933
35 x 192 x 195 mm, 0.45 kg
Medium: Pearl shell
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Philip MacFarlane
Object Name: Pearl shell
Object No: 00018247
Place Manufactured:Torres Strait

User Terms

    Gold lipped pearl shell collected from Torres Strait, Australia.

    SignificanceThis pearl shell was collected by the Reverend and Mrs MacFarlane whilst serving as missionaries on Erub (Darnley) Island in Tores Strait from 1917 - 1933.
    HistoryThe Reverend William MacFarlane was an Anglican missionary who, with his wife Gwen MacFarlane, worked in the Torres Strait Islands from 1917 until 1933, mainly at the Erub (Darnley) Island Mission.
    During his service he kept detailed diaries and notes on the work of the Mission as well as on the culture of the Islanders, their legends and history, which included many references to individual Islanders and families.
    The MacFarlanes wrote and broadcast about their experiences and Torres Strait Island culture in a series of magazine articles and on ABC radio, until Reverend MacFarlane's death in 1963.
    While at the Mission, Reverend MacFarland contributed notes and photographs to Dr A. C. Haddon, which were incorporated in the ethnography volume of the Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits, Cambridge, 1935.
    Gwen MacFarlane's memoirs, ‘Smoke, sand and sail: a home with "the happy people"', written some years after leaving Torres Strait, are held as an unpublished manuscript in the AIAS Library.

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