The Museum of Anthropology has a focus on First Nations peoples and other cultures within British Columbia. As a result, we were able to educate ourselves in the history of the area we are currently living. The Museum boasts 535,000 archaeological objects and 40,000 ethnological items from around the world. It would be impossible to display all the items at once. The Museum of Anthropology also has an impressive online catalogue to find images and information about each item within their vast collection.
British Columbia is famous for it’s Totem Poles and the Museum of Anthropology has many beautiful examples.
In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man
The current special exhibition at the Museum of Anthropology is curated by Carol E. Mayer and features 27 sculptures from Papau New Guinea’s Iatmul people. It is the most comprehensive collection of contemporary Sepik art in North America.
Carved from wood, the strikingly beautiful pieces are ornately decorated with paint, sago fiber, cowry shells, and cassowary feathers.
Ceremonies, ancestral stories, mythical beings and daily life on the Sepik River inspired the art pieces. The detail on the art is incredible.
The Raven and the First Men
Artwork by Bill Reid depicting the legend of the Raven and the first men. It was sculpted from 4 1/2 ton cube of 106 laminated beams. It took years to complete. The Legend is as follows:
One day after the great Raven was walking along the beach at Rose spit in the Queen Charlotte Islands when he heard a sound emanating from a clamshell at his feet. He looked more closely and saw that the shell was full of small humans. He coaxed, cajoled and coerced them to come out and play in the wonderful new world. Some immediately scurried back into the shell, but eventually curiosity overcame caution and they all clambered out. From these little dwellers came the original Haidas, the first humans.
Following our trip to Museum of Anthropology and after a quick refreshment in the Museum Cafe, we wandered round the grounds of UBC. We explored the rose garden and other areas of campus. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and the weather was delightful. Also UBC seems to be a great place for catching Pokemon.