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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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'....

TAPA; Cloak : Tapa

TAPA; Cloak : Tapa

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

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...

STOOL

STOOL

Carved round wooden stool with round base and seat supported by carved wooden figures with arms raised and hands touching, carved heads in between, C4...

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...

Basket : bottleneck

Basket : bottleneck

Fairly crudely made coil woven basket with rather untidy design in brown and black stepped rectangles. One row of red wool on shoulder....

Bowl

Bowl

Conventional border design punched with blunt instrument, made by natives from ammunition shell cases....

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

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

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

Coil woven hat with treble running chevron designs at rim....

Basket : trinket

Basket : trinket

Small slightly lop-sided basket with two zones of chevron decoration in brown....

Hat

Hat

Coil woven basket with three rows of lozenge design in brown at the rim....

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...

King George III

King George III

This is one of a pair of whale scrimshaw teeth showing a have full-length portrait of George III (1760 – 1820) holding a crown and sceptre. The illust...

Kachina doll

Kachina doll

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

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....

Hat : basketwork

Hat : basketwork

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

Basket : bottleneck

Basket : bottleneck

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

Statue

Statue

Japanese ivory statuette of man carrying baskets by Toshimasa. Toshimasa was a famous netsuke carver but later he carved bigger pieces for the Europea...

Shield : battle

Shield : battle

Light oval wooden shield with elongated ends. The section is concave and the handle is cut from the solid. Decoration consists of sharp running chevro...

Cloak

Cloak

cloak made of knotted string around which feathers have been wound. Bands of brownish black feathers, interspersed with several greenish feathers bord...

PALANQUIN & STAND

PALANQUIN & STAND

Palanquin and stand. Ceremonial palanquin (norimono), of wood decorated in black lacquer and gold leaf with gilt metal fittings. The inside is decor...

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...

Pillow

Pillow

Neckrest or pillow cut from solid block of wood with curved legs and bar....

Dagger

Dagger

Dagger/katar...

Figure

Figure

Clothing carved to represent long robes, exaggeration of length of head and narrowness of face. Hands clasped in front of body holding what appears to...

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