A SHOWCASE OF THE MARSHALL UNIVERSITY ETHNOGRAPHIC COLLECTION
BIRKE ART GALLERY in SMITH HALL
November 9 to December 4, 2015
Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Friday, November 13, 2015
5:00 pm TO 7:00 pm
The Marshall University Ethnographic Collection includes more than 450 objects from all over the world, from the barren tundra of the Arctic Circle to the hot sands of the Kalahari desert of southern Africa, from the coral atolls of the Pacific to the rainforests of the Amazon. The artifacts include everything from toys to weapons, from ritual and sacred pieces to items of daily wear.
The collection dates from 1997 when the Sunrise Museum, in Charleston, West Virginia, offered Marshall University a portion of its ethnographic inventory, prior to its move into the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. More artifacts have been added by private donors since.
Humans are manufacturers, in part what defines our species. The things we make are tools for survival, weapons for protection, toys to entertain and teach our young, ritual objects to communicate with supernatural forces, material signs to reflect our social status in the community, and numerous other items just for personal display, pride in the craftsmanship and beauty. All these activities are on display in this exhibit.
This exhibit aims to showcase a few choice pieces that reflect our common human experience in a diversity of areas, from childhood to old age. Each object on display is a small window into a culture, from the raw materials used to the final product, a glimpse at our great human diversity. Different peoples in different worlds, with different traditions, responding to the same universal human needs.
One room in which to travel the world and observe the ingenuity of our human community.
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