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World Cultures

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World Cultures

The Museum’s collections include objects that offer tantalising glimpses of worlds we can only imagine. These were acquired by people travelling and working abroad.

The objects show the skills, crafts and traditions of different regions, with many items of a religious or ‘ritual’ nature. Some are now extremely rare like the strange looking ‘tapa cloth’ figure from Easter Island.

The World Cultures objects are arranged by the area in which they were collected and include material from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific.

Several of the displays in the Ulster Museum highlight these collections. In particular, the spectacular treasures of the Spanish Armada and archaeological material from ancient Egypt - including of course the Museum’s mummy.

Searchable list of collections

150 items found.
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MASK

MASK

Carved from single piece of light coloured wood, thinly painted white, black ornamentation on cheeks, eyes and lips, carved fringe round forehead...

Figure

Figure

Representing Taiwo one of the JuJu gods, standing on circular base, head carved and face wood and bead, bracelets worn. When twins are born in Nigeria...

Pipe head

Pipe head

Pipe head, four rows of knobs, ten in each row, belonged to King Dingaan of the Zulu....

Hat

Hat

Hat for married Zulu woman Just as a wedding ring indicates married status in European countries, Zulu women of South Africa wear this style of hat a...

Perahera tray

Perahera tray

Perahera tray, brass, chased decoration as follows; central panel - shrine or temple, elephant, giants, dancers, attendants, Kandyan Chiefs and Sun-ba...

Sword

Sword

Sword, throwing Knife Sudan....

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Attractive coil woven basket with unusual decoration. There are four vertical bands of diverging black arrowheads bordering a W design in brown and on...

Basket : bottleneck

Basket : bottleneck

coil woven basket with design of chevron and open lozenge in black....

Carved Wooden Figure

Carved Wooden Figure

Carved and painted wooden spirit figure from the Huon Gulf region of New Guinea. These figures were set up in the men’s houses to provide a resting pl...

Cook's first and second voyage

Cook's first and second voyage

Cook atlas first volume illustrating the Pacific voyages of Captain Cook (c. 1785). There are two volumes, consisting of maps and engraved illustratio...

Bodice : textile

Bodice : textile

Red and black bodice decorated with rows of white seeds. Worn by Karen women of Northern Thailand. The Karen are an indigenous minority group living ...

"The incarnation of Krishnu"

"The incarnation of Krishnu"

Painting on glass depicting the Birth of Krishna. In centre a cobra with lotus, surmounted by Krishna depicted as human figure with flute, two figure...

Basket

Basket

Lidded gourd with globular body narrowing at top, which has been entirely encased in twined split root (probably Freycinetia arborea) in colours of bl...

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Coil woven hat with lightning pattern of solid brown in five units. One small row of yellow in each unit. Rim and base damaged and worn....

Cook's third voyage

Cook's third voyage

Cook Atlas, second volume, constisting of maps and engraved illustrations. The Cook atlases cover the three epic voyages of Captain james Cook in the ...

Idol : Buddha

Idol : Buddha

Painted wooden figure of robed Buddha with flame finial. Shown in dhyana mudra (associated with meditation by the Buddha prior to Enlightment and with...

Mask

Mask

Wooden mask painted blue with red lips and black moustache and eyebrows. The nostrils and ears are red. Masks like these were worn by secret dancing s...

Horse Trapping

Horse Trapping

Rope made of a number of fine silk cords with 13 silver plates suspended belowsed decoration. Silver knobs and long red silk cord at each end....

Frontlet

Frontlet

Wooden frontlet of hawk gripping the head of a beaver. There are holes along the top for feathers or walrus whiskers but these are now missing. Two po...

Bag : food gathering

Bag : food gathering

Food gathering bag woven from wool and wild hemp grass in bright geometric patterns of blue, pink, green, red and yellow...

Fan

Fan

Hawaiian fan of typical curved form made from tightly woven pandanus leaf. A pattern of human hair and red and purple wool is woven into the handle po...

Basket : Bottleneck

Basket : Bottleneck

Coil woven bottleneck basket with rattlesnake pattern in brown and black on cream....

Cradle

Cradle

Strongly-made boat-shaped carrying cradle in imbricated basketwork. The sides are decorated with black and cream and red dyed cane and the carrying st...

Gourd Receptable

Gourd Receptable

Black and white incised decoration, scrolls, crosses, cut out and closely fitting, 13 pointed lid, one point wanting...

Basket : hat

Basket : hat

Coil woven hat with five units of lightning pattern in black, from 'Sallie, daughter of last Chief of George Creek Indians'....

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