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Image / Men launching canoes, Mailu, Papua New Guinea, ca.1910-1920

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Men launching canoes, Mailu, Papua New Guinea, ca.1910-1920
Saville, William James
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
University of Southern California. Libraries
Contributing Institution
University of Southern California Digital Library
International Mission Photography Archive, ca.1860-ca.1960
Rights Information
Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, The Library, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, United Kingdom
Council for World Missions
University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies. Library
Men launching decorated canoes from huts on beach, Mailu, Eastern Papua.
Will Saville served the London Missionary Society in the Mailu district of Papua for thirty-five years following his appointment in 1900. In 1903 he married Frances Lawes, also the child of an LMS missionary, Rev Francis Edwin Lawes, and the niece of the pioneer missionary photographer, William George Lawes. Saville's knowledge of the Mailu area, its society and language was significant in increasing anthropological knowledge in this field. He published a grammar and dictionary, as well as translating the New Testament and producing a number of religious books in the Mailu language, as well as an anthropological study, "In Unknown New Guinea" in 1926. "In Unknown New Guinea" featured over sixty photographs and represent examples of Saville's photographs taken and presented as anthropological evidence. Missionaries regarded many of the customs they encountered as being totally incompatible with the pursuit of a Christian life. The study of these customs was therefore significant in the missionary's work, to understand and convert the indigenous populations amongst whom they lived. In addition to these studies of customs and traditions, Saville also took many photographs of children, including some more informal images included in this small album of "Snapshots".
gelatin silver prints, 8.8 x 13.4 cm.
impa-m1026 [Legacy record ID]
London Missionary Society
Saville, William James Viritahitemauvai, 1873-1948
Group portraits
Time Period
Papua New Guinea
SOAS/CWM/LMS/PNG/PHOTO/10/018/101 [File]
Council for World Mission/London Missionary Society
International Mission Photography Archive, ca.1860-ca.1960
Photographs of the Archives and Manuscripts Division, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, ca.1860-1950
School of Oriental and African Studies

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