Philip Temple Collection

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Award-winning New Zealand author and photographer Dr Philip Temple ONZM, was a prominent mountaineer in his youth. During his 1962–63 expedition to West New Guinea (now West Papua) he made the first ascent of Nemangkawi (the Carstensz Pyramide) – the most technically difficult mountain to climb of the Seven Summits of the Seven Continents.

Dani ceremonial hair comb

Dani ceremonial hair comb. Canterbury Museum 2018.77.111

During his travels, Dr Temple acquired an outstanding array of material culture from the region. Included in the collection are body adornments, carvings, textiles, musical instruments, tools and weapons from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, along with tools, textiles and body adornments from West Papua. Completing the collection is a series of 35 mm colour slides that document men of the Dani cultural group sourcing epidote stone from the Kembeh River to later be worked into adze blades.

The West Papuan material is particularly significant given that it is some of the last of its kind to have been produced prior to Indonesian military occupation of the province in 1962. A Dani ceremonial hair comb (pictured) is but one of the many treasures included in the collection.

List Image: Kundu (traditional drum). E163.1138

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