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Murder, Bigamy, Pedophilia and Betrayal: The Missing Chief’s House from Hilimondregeraya, Nias, Indonesia


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March 18, 12:00 p.m.
Presented by Professor Jerome Feldman, Hawaii Pacific University

In the Danish National Museum, there are many unique remnants of a once great chief’s house from Nias, Indonesia. These are some truly fine works of art from a vanishing tradition on a remote island. The visitor however would never suspect the incredible story behind these now scattered but extraordinary artifacts. It is a narrative of high art and high achievement with a heavy overlay of criminality and debauchery.


Jerome Feldman teaches art history at Hawaii Pacific University. His specialization is in the arts of tribal Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. He received his Ph.D. in tribal art history from Columbia University and has conducted field studies in remote islands of Indonesia and Polynesia. He has studied museum collections in Europe and America and has aided in several important exhibitions including The Eloquent Dead at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Nias Tribal Treasures at the Volkenkundig Meumeu Nusantara in Delft, and Beyond the Java Sea a Smithsonian sponsored traveling exhibition. He has also written books and articles and lectured extensively on tribal Southeast Asian, Micronesian and Polynesian art and architecture. In fall 2004, he was the Slade Visiting Professor at Cambridge University, England. between distribution patterns of human knowledge of biodiversity and actual biodiversity.