The British Missionary movement, which began in earnest in the early 19th century, was one of the most extraordinary movements of the last two centuries, radically transforming the lives of people in large parts of the globe, including in Europe itself.
By exploring a range of artefacts, photographs and archival documents that have survived, or emerged from, these transformations, this volume sheds an oblique light on the histories of British Missionaries in Africa and the Pacific, and the ways in which their work is remembered in different parts of the world today.
Short contributions describing the histories of particular items, accompanied by rich visual imagery, showcase the extraordinary l items that were caught up in histories of conversion, and are still controversial for many today. By focusing on the varied forms of missionary heritage, this volume aims to question the often used categories of trophies, relics or curios, and highlight the complexity involved in the missionary encounter.
This volume is the result of a research networking project bringing together specialists of missionary collections, i.e. artefacts, photographs or archival documents. These specialists are academics of various disciplines, museum curators and indigenous stakeholders who aim to show to a wide audience what missionary heritage constitutes and how varied it is. The heritage in focus is based in museums, archives, churches and archaeological sites in Britain, the Pacific and Africa.
With contributions by Ben Burt of the British Museum, Sagale Buadromo of the Fiji Museum, Ghanaian artist, art historian and curator Atta Kwami, Jack Thompson of the University of Edinburgh, Steven Hooper of the Sainsbury Research Unit, Joshua Bell of the Smithsonian Institute, Samoan artist Greg Semu and many more.