Monday, September 10, 2001

Barrow, shown with Maori artwork in 1964, traveled
extensively, living in Hawaii, Japan and his native New Zealand.

Former Bishop Museum
curator wrote 20 books



By Diana Leone

Noted Maori and Polynesian art expert Terence Tui A Tane Barrow, 78, died Aug. 31 at his Honolulu home, leaving to his son Leonard the job of finishing his 21st book.

The New Zealand native had a Cambridge University doctorate in Pacific anthropology and worked 20 years as a curator for the New Zealand National Museum before coming to Honolulu in 1964, said his wife, Hisako.

He was the Bishop Museum's Polynesian Collection curator from 1964-68 and an author and representative for Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Co. from 1965-85, Hisako Barrow said.

"All along, he did tribal art appraising," she said. "He was very famous -- anyone who wanted to authenticate Polynesian art would call. He got calls from Paris, London, Christie's in New York."

She described her husband, who was Caucasian but had a Maori middle name, as "very creative, very knowledgeable. We traveled all over the world together. He has friends all over the world. I had a most unusual life through him."

Among Barrow's 20 hardback book titles: "Maori Wood Sculpture," "Maori Art of New Zealand," "Women of Polynesia," "The Art of the South Sea Islands," "The Decorative Arts of New Zealand Maori," "The Art of Tahiti," "Music of the Maori," "Incredible Hawaii" and "More Incredible Hawaii."

"His book 'Art and Life in Polynesia' put him on the map," said Barrow's son Leonard, who is studying toward a doctorate in Polynesian anthropology and hopes to finish the book his father was working on the last few years.

"As a father, no one could have had such a helpful, kind and compassionate teacher," Leonard Barrow said. "During the four years he was ill, it forced me to hurry and learn his ideas on Polynesian art and culture.

"He was open-minded," Leonard Barrow said. "He fought the Japanese in World War II and then married one," referring to his mother, a Japanese native.

"We lived in three worlds: Japan, New Zealand and Hawaii," said Hisako Barrow, who will return her husband's ashes to his homeland this fall. Barrow also is survived by a second son, Ken, who lives in Honolulu, and a brother, Dick, and sister, Chic, who live in New Zealand.

Yosihiko Sinoto, senior anthropologist at the Bishop Museum, said that he worked with Barrow a short time at the museum and saw him at social events since then.

"He is well known about Maori ethnological studies, as a specialist of art and history of Maori culture. After he left the museum, he did a lot of writing and publishing," Sinoto said. "He knows not only Maori, but also Pacific Island anthropology."

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