Collection details
Collection ID PC1
Title Vanuatu materials
Description Audio recordings and photographic slides received from Peter Crowe's personal collections. This box of material was in Ross Clark's office in Auckland and he gave the box to PARADISEC. We wrote to Russell Crowe to ask if he had any advice about his uncle's collection but we received no reply.


This collection of slides documents a number of Peter Crowe’s research interests, such as cultural and musical rituals as well as the Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project and Vanuatu Cultural Centre (VCC). Many slides are Crowe’s documentation of cultural events, showing events such as pig hunting rituals and slit gongs, which Crowe went on to write about.

Crowe dedicated a large amount of his time to the Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project and he wrote an article about the process of the project. The project began in 1976 and had two branches, one led by French linguist Jean-Michel Charpentier in Port Vila and the other by Crowe in the northern islands. PARADISEC is still looking for many of the recordings that were made as part of this project. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario is that they were destroyed by Cyclone Uma in 1987.

Crowe, while mainly working in the northern islands, helped develop the VCC in Port Vila. The VCC is still operating today and has a strong relationship with PARADISEC, including the VKS2 collection. There are slides which document the Maewo branch of the Cultural Centre (referred to in the slides as ‘Maewo Ofis’ or ‘Niu Hebridis Kalsaral Senta Maewo Ofis’). The VCC is also connected to the Oral Traditions Project as it houses/ed copies of recordings made in the northern islands. Kirk Huffman, who worked with Crowe and was a curator at the VCC is featured on an episode of the PARADISEC podcast TOKSAVE (episode 9: Paama, Vanuatu, Sharks and shark spirits).

One person shown in a number of slides is Jeffery Uli (Jeffrey is also listed in the archive under his full name ‘Jeffery Ulimeruana’ or ‘Jeffery Uli Meruana’) who was one of two people who worked closely with Crowe on the Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project. There is also James Gwero who isn’t mentioned by name in the slides but is mentioned by Crowe in articles. Both Gwero and Uli maintained the Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project after Crowe left Vanuatu, some of their recordings can be found in the VKS collections.

These are articles written by Peter Crowe relating to this collection.

Pig Hunting Rituals/Slit Gongs
- Crowe. P, 1990, Dancing Backwards?, The World of Music ,Oceania 32(1), pp.84-98.
o Available at:
The Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project
- Crowe. P, 1977, The Vanuatu Oral Traditions Project, Pacific Arts 15(16), pp.34-36.
o Available at:
The Vanuatu Cultural Centre
- Bolton. L. 1994, The Vanuatu Cultural Centre and its own Community, Journal of Museum Ethnography 6, pp.67-78.
o Available at:

Notes by Lachlan Thompson, 22.06.2023.
Archive link
Peter Crowe
Operator Nick Ward
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DOI 10.26278/5e32ef7c29144
Cite as Peter Crowe (collector), 1971. Vanuatu materials. Collection PC1 at [Open Access].
Access information
Edit access Nick Ward
Jodie Kell
Liana Molina
Lachlan Thompson
Data access conditions Open (subject to agreeing to PDSC access conditions)
Data access details
Items in Collection (82)

Item Title Actions
00 Collection Documentation View
06 Lovuitokohui-Aoba Easter 1977 View
07 NAVISO View
08 OLIVER HUQE 9/9/77 View

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