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Tony Atkinson

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (series)

    • Tony Atkinson
  • Description

    Photograph (black and white); a row of women sitting leaning their head onto the ground in front of them whilst performing a Te Kaiomau (ceremonial dance); one man is walking behind the row of women, also performing, and a second man is sitting behind one of the women; the performers are wearing plant fibre skirts, plant fibre and or beaded necklaces; a crowd of spectators standing and sitting on the ground in the background; Bairiki, Kiribati.
    Gelatin silver print


  • Producer name

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 25th March 1959
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 12.7 centimetres
    • Width: 17.7 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        back of image
      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

        handwritten in black ink on yellow label
  • Curator's comments

    Context: This image was photographed between 2100-2300 hrs (see PicDoc 259). Te Kaiomau means "the shaking of the head to dry the hair" but the words of the song, except for the last line, have no significance that can now be discovered. It is an old song from Beru and Nikunau in the Southern Gilberts, but is here performed by women from those islands now resident on Tarawa.
    Lyrics of the Song:

    We are rolling the Eurpoean canoe - the one with the chimney
    Steer and press and paddle it
    Paddle, paddle, paddle it.
    Steer and press and hold it
    Wind blow, wind blow and hold it,
    All set?
    Shake, shake, shake.


  • Subjects

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    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.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 35 (BM photographic series number)

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Object reference number: EPF103789

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