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Unit 7: The Pacific
700 – 1,980 C.E.
Understand the geographic areas and broad common cultural practices of
the peoples of Oceania.
Understand the distinct qualities of the art forms of Melanesia,
Micronesia, and Polynesia.
Understand the disruption of cultural rituals as a result of western world
contact, and the recent revivals of cultural heritage practices and
indigenous arts among the peoples of Oceania.
Australia and Melanesia
Understand how Australian bark paintings and their imagery reflect Aboriginal
Understand the Melanesian geographic area and cultural influences before and
after western world contact.
Examine the common cultural and artistic expressions of the Iatmul, Asmat,
Abelam, and Elema peoples.
Understand the various rituals and related art objects of the peoples of the
Trobriand Islands and New Ireland.
Figure: Left: Asmat bisj poles, Buepis village, Fajit River, Casuarina Coast, Irian Jaya, Melanesia, early to
mid-20th century. Above: Detail of a bisj pole. Painted wood. Asmat Museum, Agats.
Figure: Nan Madol. Pohnpei, Micronesia. Saudeleur Dynasty.
c. 700–1600 C.E. Basalt boulders and prismatic columns.
Figure: Nan Madol. Pohnpei, Micronesia. Saudeleur Dynasty. c. 700–1600 C.E. Basalt boulders and prismatic
Figure: Moai stone figures on platform (ahu). Rapa Nui (Easter Island). c. 1100–1600 C.E. Volcanic tuff
figures on basalt base.
Figure: ‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape). Hawaiian. Late 18th century C.E. Feathers and fiber.
Figure: Staff god. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Central Polynesia. Late
18th to early 19th century C.E. Wood, tapa, fiber, and feathers. See
Gardners, 14th ed, p 1054
Figure: Buk (mask). Torres Strait. Mid- to late 19th century C.E. Turtle shell, wood, fiber, feathers, and shell.
Figure: Female deity. Nukuoro,
Micronesia. c. 18th to 19th century
C.E. Wood. Wooden statue of a
female deity, Nukuoro Island,
Caroline Islands, 18th-19th century.
Figure: Hiapo (tapa). Niue. c. 1850–1900 C.E. Tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting.
Figure: Navigation chart. Marshall Islands, Micronesia. 19th to early 20th century C.E. Wood and fiber.
Figure: Malagan display and mask. New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. c. 20th century C.E. Wood,
pigment, fiber, and shell.
Figure: Tatanua mask, New Ireland. Wood, shell, lime,
and fiber, 1' 5 3/4" high. Otago Museum, New Zealand.
Figure: Tamati Waka Nene. Samuel Stuart.
Date tk. C.E. Oil on canvas.
Figure: Processional
welcoming Queen Elizabeth
II to Tonga with Ngatu
launima (tapa cloth). Tonga,
Central Polynesia. 1953 C.E.

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