Material Histories


Upon arrival to new found lands in the Pacific, strips of red cloth were thrown into the sea prior to landing on the shore by visiting Europeans to build an initial rapport with the locals. Given the language barriers of the time,  materiality became a language to that was used to liaise, trade and exploit Indigenous peoples, ultimately leading to cultural transformation, destruction and adaptation.

This is one of three videos exploring the re-enactment of materials exchanged between non-Tolai and Tolai people of Papua New Guinea during the late 1800’s, key figures represented include Queen Emma of Samoa and Methodist Missionaries.