Tony Powell-Cotton



Tony Powell-Cotton


Tony Powell-Cotton, together with her sister Diana, made collecting trips to southwest Angola in 1936 and 1937. They returned with thousands of artefacts and photographs, and made a number of films. They also created an important written archive which includes their diaries, copious notes on a wide variety of topics and lists of vocabulary.
Tony was born in 1913, she disliked her full name Antoinette and was referred to as 'Tony' throughout her life. She grew up at Quex Park, the Powell-Cotton Museum was built in the grounds of the family home.
Tony's interest in ethnographic collections lead to her volunteering at the Pitt Rivers Museum where she attended Arthur Balfour's lectures. In 1935 she undertook a a collecting trip to South Africa with her father.
During World War II Tony volunteered as a first aider and then trained and worked as a nurse in London. It seems, from the PCM archive that she continued to work on documenting the Angolan artefacts during this time, creating a set of index cards that remain in the museum.
In the 1950s Tony returned to Quex Park to care for her mother. She became increasingly interested in archaeology and carried out some important excavations at local sites, notably Minnis Bay.
There is a short biography of Tony included in the Powell-Cotton archive. We believe this to have been written by, or based on information supplied by, her younger brother Christopher. Please scroll down and click on 'Other Media' to see it in full.

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Title Alternate label Class
Diana Powell-Cotton Agent
Ethnographic photographs and ethics: Powell Cotton Museum Text
Title Alternate label Class
Making of Bark Cloth Physical Object
Feminine Coiffure in Angola: Much-Adorned Girls of West Africa Physical Object
Letter responding to complaint "Expedition of Misses Powell-Cotton to Angola" Physical Object
Notes Physical Object
Wailing Physical Object
Ethnographic Notes Physical Object
Kwanyama - Vocabularies Physical Object
Luvando - Vocabularies Physical Object
Kwanyama - Engagement & Marriage Physical Object
Kwanyama - Personal Names & Clans Physical Object
Death. Kwanyama. Physical Object
Kwanyama - Death, Mourning, Inheritance Physical Object
Kwanyama - Potting Physical Object
Kwanyama - Potting Physical Object
Kwanyama - Potting Physical Object
Tanning and Tailoring of Skins Physical Object
Kwanyama - Building a Compound Physical Object
Medicine ♂ or ♀: Ondudu; (mostly) Dombondola Physical Object
Kwanyama - Medicine man Physical Object
Kwanyama - Ondudu, medicine man Physical Object
Kwanyama - Personal Names Physical Object
Finished coil on arm Physical Object