1930.493 Sepik feather board
Sepik province, Papua, New Guinea
Wood, feathers, plant fibers
128cm H x 19cm W x 6.5cm D
Collection of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
The object is a wooden board decorated with black, dark blue, light blue, and white feathers, which are wrapped around the board and tied at the back. The feathers are strapped to the board in layers, where the first layer is at the top and the last layer is at the bottom. The design consists of geometric patterns and a white fish, which is situated at the bottom of the object. Feather boards such as this are thought to have some religious significance, and are known to have been hung in the men's houses of Papua, New Guinea.
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has an active exhibitions schedule and loaned objects are documented thoroughly before travel. Over the course of one week I prepared a this feather board for loan to three venues in France and Germany. This included writing a condition and treatment report, performing extensive photography documentation for the outgoing loan report, creating a database conservation file, and annotating photographs of every surface for the outgoing loan report. I also performed minor treatment to dry clean the feathers overall, wet-clean and reshape selected feathers, and stabilize a broken plant fiber strap with toned Japanese paper.