Abstract

Abstract:

Punitive expeditions were effectively employed by British colonial officials in the Solomon Islands as a means of subjugating and controlling Indigenous populations, particularly in the eradication of headhunting. In this paper I focus on several specific expeditions undertaken in the Western Solomon Islands, analyzing them not simply as occasions to target and destroy material culture associated with headhunting, but as opportunities for colonial officers to acquire fsobjects held in high value by their Indigenous owners. With reference to the career and collection of the colonial District Officer Arthur William Mahaffy, I assess how such events allowed him to augment and enhance his personal collection of artefacts. I further consider the particular motivations of Indigenous police employed to undertake raids.

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