Cook voyage artefacts in the Hunterian

dance paddle from Easter IslandThe Hunterian is home to an exciting and varied collection of both natural and artificial 'curiosities', many of which are believed to have come from the voyages of Captain James Cook.

These include the Maori knife, a ceremonial item. This has an oval head, slightly curved handle and a single row of shark’s teeth lashed to the bottom. It is thought to have been collected on Cook's third voyage and donated to the museum by Captain King. Although King was only present on Cook's last voyage, he is thought to have obtained artefacts from the other two. Another star item is a small wooden dance paddle of flattened abstracted human form. This type of ritual dance paddle functioned as a symbol of authority, and was primarily used in ceremonies. Small examples like this one were twirled in the hand of the presiding seated chief. This paddle was collected on Easter Island during Captain Cook's second voyage and donated by Captain King.

This collection continues to attract visitors and scholars from around the world.