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A Man and Two Women from Palau

Photo credit: The Trustees of the British Museum. Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence.

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In 1790 Captain John McCluer, on a surveying voyage for the East India Company, visited Palau (Pelew,) a group of islands at the western end of the Carolines. In 1791 he was accompanied on his voyage to Macao by three inhabitants: a ‘Prince’ and two women. The young man in the painting is believed to be Kockywack, and adopted son of Abba Thulle. He joined McCluer on board the Panther bound for Macau, arriving on 2nd March and leaving again on 10th June 1791. Abba Thulle, ruler of Koror, Palau, selected Kockywock and a young woman to accompany the voyage. Capt John McCluer selected a second young woman to keep the first company. McCluer's logbook records 'The famous painter Spoilem came down to Macao [from Canton] at my request; his terms, was to be ensured 50 dollars for his trip.

British Museum





oil on canvas

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unknown acquisition method

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