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

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Pipe head

Pipe head

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

Composite Chain, Gold with Pearls and Rubies

Composite Chain, Gold with Pearls and Rubies

'One of two elements of a composite chain, each more or less oval in outline, with a central raised square setting, in one of which a ruby survives; o...

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Coil woven hat with six groups of lightning pattern in black and one fork of of lightning pattern abandoned. ....

Box : food

Box : food

Square-kerfed bent wood box with deep relief carving of hawk's heads at either end, its wings emerging from the sides. Cowrie shells are inset into th...

Basket : bottleneck

Basket : bottleneck

Narrow-necked basket of coil weave with brown chevron at base and at greatest circumference. A row of nine male figures in brown is woven round the ba...

SPEAR

SPEAR

Smooth fairly heavy wood that is split at the handle end of the shaft. Has been mended in 6 places by bulky wrappings of fibre covered with black gum....

Figure

Figure

Representing IBO one of the JuJu gods, standing on circular base, head carved to show conical form of head dress, bead ornaments worn on neck, arm and...

Hat : basket

Hat : basket

Coil woven hat with broad band of rattlesnake pattern in brown and black below rim. Information on label `Bought from Lucy Chapo camp. Lucy, last of t...

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 ...

Tree Fern Head

Tree Fern Head

In Vanuatu, large ancestor figures were carved from tree ferns. The position of a man in his lifetime related directly to his status as an ancestor in...

Mask : Ekpo

Mask : Ekpo

Ekpo Society mask. This wooden mask shows a head ring (Idiong) of the higher ranks of the Ekpo society....

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...

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...

Basket : bottleneck

Basket : bottleneck

Beautifully woven coil weave basket with fairly sharp shoulder in cream with dark brown lozenge pattern in three zones....

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Coil woven hat with five units of vertical arrowhead pattern in brown and black....

Salamander pendant, Gold and Rubies

Salamander pendant, Gold and Rubies

'Gold pendant in the form of a salamander, with four legs and two wings; the scales, mouth, teeth, eyes and nose are clearly modelled. Of the nine tab...

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...

Dagger

Dagger

Dagger/katar...

"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...

TAPA; Cloak : Tapa

TAPA; Cloak : Tapa

Yellowish tapa with stamped ferns and flower decoration in red around the edge and intermittently overall....

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...

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Strongly made coil woven hat with decoration consisting of five vertical panels of black, containing inverted reddish brown arrowheads, interspersed w...

CAN; Tea Can; Urn

CAN; Tea Can; Urn

Lidded metal container decorated cover in white, red, blue and black beads. 'Beads have been used both as currency and as jewellery since earliest tim...

Kachina doll

Kachina doll

Painted carved figure, sometimes called a doll. White and red ear pieces, pointed nose, holding a staff and rattle....

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