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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

Robert P. Lewis, Associate in Ethnology (1926-1935)

Robert P. Lewis, Associate in Ethnology (1926-1935)

A lover of travel and provided with independent means, Mr. Lewis did fine work for the Museum in searching the museums of Europe and America for information about Hawaiian feather garments, thus earning the sobriquet of "Feather Cloak Lewis." He examined the material in Russia, and in Spain he located three cloaks, four capes, and seven helmets. In England, the cape given by Kamehameha II to Captain Starbuck was presented by his family to Mr. Lewis to convey to Bishop Museum as a gift to the people of Hawaii. A specimen of later work in the form of a peacock-feather cape was presented by Captain A. W. F. Fuller to the Museum through Mr. Lewis. The museums visited are too numerous to mention, suffice it to say that Mr. Lewis located feather capes and cloaks in no fewer than 80 collections in Europe. His photographs, drawings and notes have been incorporated into the Museum's photograph catalog. A fuller description of his work is to be found in his obituary notice in the Report of the Director of Bishop Museum for 1935 (pp. 37-39).