Provides an in-depth study of Lord Moyne’s fascinating encounters with the Asmat people, bringing together his written account and the extensive photographic and film archives of his trips for the first time.
Walter Edward Guinness (1880–1944), the first Lord Moyne, was an Anglo-Irish politician, businessman and explorer. Travelling across the globe in his private yacht in search for ethnographic material, Lord Moyne visited South Papua three times in 1929, 1935 and 1936.
br>Unlike previous explorers of New Guinea, Lord Moyne and his group travelled along the rivers much further inland, and were able to make sustained contact with several groups of villages, engaging in performances and bartering for a range of objects that included shields and other carvings. Many of these objects were brought back to the British Museum as a means to address the severe lack of representation of South Papuan art and handicraft in the collection for which the area is renowned.
Using the most advanced equipment to hand, Lord Moyne’s party took some of the first photographs of the Asmat people. The wide-ranging series of photographs taken by his companion Lady Vera Broughton now forms the Broughton Collection at the British Museum, a unique account of Asmat life and culture at the time immediately prior to colonisation. Many of these images were included in Moyne’s account of his 1936 expedition entitled Walkabout: A Journey in Lands between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.