A study of Buka-Passage (Solomon Islands) ceremonial paddles
The large number of paddles (approximately 320), which are part of the excellent collection of objects from the Solomon Islands, were bought by the Australian Museum in Sydney in two big parcels, according to the register of the Museum, from Richard Parkinson and Captain Farrell in 1885 and 18g8 respectively. The paddles are described as coming from the Buka district.
Richard Parkinson, author of the well-known book "Dreissig Jahre in der Suedsee" (Stuttgart, 1907) and many other valuable contributions to the investigations of the peoples, life and culture of the Pacific Islands, was the brother-in-law of Captain Farrell and both were related to "Queen Emma", a famous trading woman, who lived around 1880 in Rabaul.
This evidence shows that the paddles from the Buka district were made previous to 1885 or 1898 at the latest, when the Solomon Islanders were still more or less in their primitive state and had little contact with the white man. We therefore can look upon them as authentic specimens and products of the art expression of the Buka Passage Islanders, inspired by the feelings and the spiritual background of their time. The paddles are identified by their registration numbers, which are quoted in the text.