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Recording Kastom

Alfred Haddon's Journals from the Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898

Edited by Anita Herle and Jude Philp

Regular price $60.00 Sale

Format: paperback
378 pages
ISBN: 9781743326480
Publication: 01 Dec 2020
Series: Indigenous Music of Australia
Publisher: Sydney University Press

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Recording Kastom brings readers into the heart of colonial Torres Strait and New Guinea through the personal journals of Cambridge zoologist and anthropologist Alfred Haddon, who visited the region in 1888 and 1898.

Haddon's published reports of these trips were hugely influential on the nascent discipline of anthropology, but his private journals and sketches have never been published in full. The journals record in vivid detail Haddon's observations and relationships. They highlight his preoccupation with documentation, and the central role played by the Islanders who worked with him to record kastom. This collaboration resulted in an enormous body of materials that remain of vital interest to Torres Strait Islanders and the communities where he worked. Haddon's Journals provide unique and intimate insights into the colonial history of the region will be an important resource for scholars in history, anthropology, linguistics and musicology.

This comprehensively annotated edition assembles a rich array of photographs, drawings, artefacts, film and sound recordings. An introductory essay provides historical and cultural context. The preface and epilogue provide Islander perspectives on the historical context of Haddon’s work and its significance for the future.

Anita Herle is Senior Curator (World Anthropology) at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include museum anthropology, the early history of British anthropology, art and aesthetics, with a particular interest in the Torres Strait, Vanuatu, Fiji and Canada.

Jude Philp is Senior Curator of the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include museum anthropology, 19th century Pacific history, historic taxidermy, the commerce of natural history, and Pacific Islander material culture.

Notes on the text
The Journals of Alfred Cort Haddon
Works cited

‘[The introduction] provides a highly informative backdrop to the Haddon journals, detailing Haddon and his family, the colonial context of Haddon’s research in Torres Strait, and a critical examination of Haddon and his team’s innovative approach to fieldwork … Recording Kastom leaves us with a very strong sense that the most important legacy of Haddon and the ‘Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits’ resides with Torres Strait Islander families of today and into the future.’
Ian McNiven   Australian Archaeology

“This shift [materials re-conceived not as ‘data’ but as ‘cultural heritage’] has occurred in no small part due to the advocacy of source communities who continue to speak assertively about the value of such materials to their contemporary lives. Anita Herle and Jude Philp have taken up this challenge and via their engagements with the relevant communities they have made this important material widely accessible for the first time … Recording Kastom will therefore become a key text for students and scholars of Australian and Pacific history, Indigenous studies, anthropology and museology.”
Jason Gibson   Anthropological Forum

Format: paperback
Size: 240 × 170 × 20 mm
378 pages
b&w illustrations, b&w line drawings, colour illustrations, and line drawings
Copyright: © 2020
ISBN: 9781743326480
Publication: 01 Dec 2020
Series: Indigenous Music of Australia