Kanak culture comes to Moulins

Moulins, 30 March 2018

Until 16 September 2018, the Musée Anne de Beaujeu in the French town of Moulins is holding the exhibition “Trajectoires Kanak – Histoires de voyages en Nouvelle-Calédonie” (“Kanak Trajectories – Stories on Voyages to New Caledonia”).

The event gathers numerous objects, rarely presented to the public, from the Musée Anne de Beaujeu’s collection of items from outside Europe. The latter grew from works picked up by colonists, missionaries, adventurers or scientists in the second half of the 19th century.

The works on display reveal the wealth of Kanak culture in every area (society, nature, war, religion). As a former French colony, New Caledonia was at the heart of one of the last waves of world exploration. While making their way through the exhibition, visitors can become acquainted with the era’s emblematic figures including Léon Moncelon, a colonist from the Allier region in France, Pierre Poyti, of mixed Kanak and French heritage who grew up in France, and Poindi-Patchili, a Kanak chief who belonged to a clan that originally came from Ponérihouen.

The exhibition invites the public to take a new look at this era, beyond popular images and their preconceived visions. A rich cultural programme accompanies the event, including talks, musical storytelling sessions, guided tours and workshops for children. The project reflects public interest in this theme, and gathers works from around a dozen institutions in mainland France. Loans come from museums including the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (Paris), the Musée des Confluences (Lyon), the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Grenoble) and the Musée Bargoin (Clermont-Ferrand). The exhibition will also be presented in Bourges at the end of 2018.

© Mitchell library-Sydney Le chef Poindi-Patchili