Arthur Bernard Deacon (1903-27) collection MS 90-98

Documentary heritage submitted by Vananuatu and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

© Royal Anthropological Institute
The rat

The original drawings and notes of Arthur Bernard Deacon, during his visit to Malekula and the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in 1926 recording the language, customs and traditional tales of the people he studied, and illustrating the famous sand drawing tradition for which the islands are still renowned. The material he collected from the individuals he interviewed is of great value to the people of the islands of Vanuatu eager to retain knowledge of their heritage, and his recording is detailed and unique. Deacon’s portrayal of a culture without an extensive written history is of importance to all of us and brings to light the work of one of the most promising anthropologists of the last century.

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