Godzilla, A Living Atomic Bomb

A large nuclear test exposion over the ocean from Castle Romeo

In 1954, nuclear testing on Bikini Atoll stoked new fears of atomic energy. An accidental irradiation of Japanese fishing vessel prompted panic and the Japanese press called it "the second atomic bombing of mankind." These fears manifested themselves in a new horror monster in the 1954 film Gojira (Godzilla).  

In order to prepare for these nuclear tests, the American Government relocated hundreds of indigenous peoples from their homes in the Marshall Islands. A few objects from Bikini Atoll give a glimpse into their culture. You can see these objects and learn how the tests inspired Godzilla only at NHM.

Coconut Bowl From Rongerik Atoll

Coconut Bowl/Cup
A coconut shell used as a cup or bowl.
Rongerik Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Hammer from Rongerik Atoll

Some knots in trees are naturally more dense and have more compressive strength so with a handle, they can make an ideal mallet or hammer.
Rongerik Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Conch Shell Horn From Rongerik Atoll

Conch Shell
Used as a horn.
Rongerik Atoll (where the natives of Bikini were moved to), Marshall Islands c. 1945

Canoe Bailer From Bikini Atoll

Canoe Bailer
This is used to scoop water out of a canoe.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Coconut Grater from Bikini Atoll

Coconut Grater
This has a metal attachment with ridges at one end for grating coconut.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Fiber Beater from Bikini Atoll

Beater
Used to beat the pandanus fiber used for baskets, roofs, fans, etc. and for beating bark to make bark cloth.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

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Coconut Bowl/Cup
A coconut shell used as a cup or bowl.
Rongerik Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Some knots in trees are naturally more dense and have more compressive strength so with a handle, they can make an ideal mallet or hammer.
Rongerik Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Conch Shell
Used as a horn.
Rongerik Atoll (where the natives of Bikini were moved to), Marshall Islands c. 1945

Canoe Bailer
This is used to scoop water out of a canoe.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Coconut Grater
This has a metal attachment with ridges at one end for grating coconut.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945

Beater
Used to beat the pandanus fiber used for baskets, roofs, fans, etc. and for beating bark to make bark cloth.
Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands c. 1945