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Historian, ethnologist, museologist, ancient and tribal art dealer and collector. Bill’s interests revolved around the forgotten cultures and customs of the South Pacific, Indonesian, African, South and North American Indians, and Egyptian. He was deeply fascinated with artifacts from these cultures, as well as oddities and curiosities from around the globe, especially objects of the Macabre. Bill’s fieldwork amongst the Shuar in Ecuador and Peru helped him gain much knowledge of this tribal group. His expertise was drawn upon by National Geographic’s documentary production unit for a series on Headhunting, Human Sacrifice, and Cannibalism as well as by numerous museums and researchers. He was a member of the Canadian Chapter of the New York Explorers Club since 1997.
Through an interest in disappearing Andean-Amazonian tribal rituals, Bill financed and led five expeditions into Ecuador and Peru from 1995 to 2001, researching traditional naturopathic healings and related rituals. Focusing on the Shuar tribe of Ecuador, made famous for their past custom of shrinking heads, Bill amassed the most extensive Shuar library and archival photos in existence, including a collection of shrunken human heads. Through this Bill took an interest in other cultures and collected early ethnographic material form the Native cultures of North America, South America, Dayak of Borneo, Naga of the Highlands of India, and Batak of Sumatra.
In 1999 Bill Jamieson purchased the Niagara Falls Museum. Established in 1827, the museum held title to the name The Explorers Club in Canada. Bill donated the name to the Explorers Club in New York City. Amongst the collections were nine Egyptian mummies that had been in the Museum’s collections since 1861. Bill sold them to the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. It was later confirmed that one of the mummies was that of the missing Pharaoh, Ramses I. Ramses I was later repatriated back to Egypt.
Sadly, Billy suddenly passed away on July 3, 2011 in his home in Toronto.
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