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A Bark Head Hunters Bag

From New Ireland (New Guinea). From about 1930. Measures 1 metre by 75cms. In good repair but faded in parts.

Also a note from the recipient.

This item was sent to Jim Tait by his uncle Ivan Tait, who at that time was a plantation manager on New Guinea. Ivan was a WW1 veteran who had previously been an office clerk in Timaru, but following the Great War had taken a promotion to a plantation in the Islands. At the outbreak of WW2 against Japan, Ivan and others were overrun by the Japanese and interned. In July 1944, the Japanese executed many of the internees. Some had previously been sent to Japan on the ill fated Montevideo Maru, which was torpedoed by an American submarine with great loss of life. It is not known if Ivan was executed or drowned.

The Japanese notified the Red Cross Ivan had died during a hernia operation. This was later easily refuted. A memorial at Lae commemorates those executed by the Japanese in New Ireland.

Ivan supplied his nephew a number of items from the Pacific including adzes, bowls, masks and the like.

Included are photos of correspondence relating to Ivanís interment, together with a photograph of Ivan Tait.