- Previous 0/3909
- Tony Atkinson
Photograph (black and white); four women performing a siva (ceremonial dance), wearing plant fibre skirts, plant fibre tops, and flower headbands; a crowd of spectators standing and sitting on the ground in the background; Bairiki, Kiribati.
Gelatin silver print
- 25th March 1959
- Photographed in: Bairiki
- Height: 12.7 centimetres
- Width: 17.7 centimetres
Inscription Positionback of image
Inscription Commenthandwritten in black ink on yellow label
Context: This image was photographed between 2100-2300 hrs (see PicDoc 259). The dance "Siva" is an Ellice Islands ceremonial dance with a song that recounts the story of an Ellice boy who ran off to sea, against the wishes of his mother. He later repents and returns to her asking her forgiveness. In Ellice, a boy commonly calls his mother "my love".
Lyrics of the Song:
I beseech you listen
Hear my pitiful cry
My heart aches
It aches because of you.
I know not what to do
To please you.
I swallow my shame
Oh my lover.
I have tried
I am not wholly to blame
My heart is pierced.
Forgive me, my lover
I now obey your wishes
Forgive my earlier disobedience
Take me back into my heart
For my anger is now ended.
- Topographic representation of: Bairiki
The British Museum made photographic prints from original negatives in Mr T Atkinson's collection. The images depict HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's state visit to Kiribati (Gilbert and Ellice Islands) from 25th March - 5th April 1959. The BM has assigned copyright of these images.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- 36 (BM photographic series number)
There is no image of this object, or there may be copyright restrictions
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: EPF103790
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.