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Worlds collide

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Masi (tapa cloth), Fiji. Gift of Mrs Miller, 1960. Te Papa

 
  • Explosive relations
  • 'Ship buster'
  • Broken relations
  • Flagging authority
  • Fighting figure
  • Double barrel, dual purpose
  • Mixed victory
  • Guns for decoration
  • Details of war
  • Weaving peace

Details of war

This Fijian masi (bark cloth) features small gun motifs in two triangles. The guns are probably muskets, which the British armed forces used in the early 1800s. Whalers introduced these guns to Fiji, intensifying battles between local tribal groups.