Additional Notes on Hawaiian Feather Work, Vol. 1 of 7: Second Supplement, Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (Classic Reprint)
When in the first part of the first volume of the Museum Memoirs, a formal account of the ornamental feather work of the ancient Hawaiians was given to the public in 1899, it was hoped that all of the few remains of this perishable fabric might be recorded in the archives of this Museum and where possible figured. The public museums of Europe and America were ready to contribute their specimens in photograph and sometimes in colored drawings, even her gracious Majesty of England, Victoria, ordered excellent illustrations of the specimens recently discovered and then in her private museum in Windsor Castle, to be sent to the author: but the people of Hawaii who should have been interested in this preservation of the good and interesting work of their ancestors, did not display these treasures as we might have felt justified in expecting, and doubtless there are still some small specimens carefully preserved that have not been brought to the attention of this Museum. On the other hand the publication of the material at our disposal led to discoveries quite unexpected, and in 1903 a supplement was published enlarging to a considerable extent our list, mainly from the museums on our exchange list whose officers were on the watch for such specimens as might be offered to them.
In the last journey of the Director of this Museum around the world in 1912 not only were the rough drawings made in the note books of a previous journey in 1895 replaced by photographs and measurements, but many new specimens were brought to light. After the first publication a discovery was made in Petrograd (then St. Petersburg) of some of the treasures collected on Captain Cook's last voyage. It may be recalled that the expedition when arriving off the coast of Kamchatka was short of provisions and in no little distress. Captain Clerke was on his death bed and had named Captain King as his successor, directing the ships to make for what is now Petropaulovski seeking supplies. The account of their reception in this desolate looking harbor (April, 1779) as given in the third volume of Cook's last voyage is one of the pleasantest episodes in the history of the intercourse of nations. Major Behm the Commandant and later the Captain Shmaleff his successor, furnished the ships with all the provisions desired, absolutely refusing compensation, declaring that the Empress Elizabeth would rejoice to assist Englishmen on such an expedition. In some measure to requite this unexpected liberality 'specimens of all our curiosities' were presented to the Commandant. These were carefully boxed and forwarded to the Russian capital.
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