February 13, 2017

Baskets at Museum of Anthropology

On the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  Huge campus, 61,000 students, one of whom saw us peering at our map when we got off the bus.  She then spent an hour giving us a tour and directing us to our destination.  Friendly, helpful, polite Canadians abound.  We were happy to sit on a bench and share an extra butter tart with her!

Anyone who is interested in fiber and native arts — this is a must-see museum.   Their collection is out and numbered and visually stupendous.  The baskets went on and on, each more intricate and glorious than the previous one.  Then there were textiles (coming up soon) and masks and tools and costumes and…well…it was worth a month of daily visits, but there’s only so much one can absorb! There were sections for native arts from around the world.  We didn’t even get to walk through most of them.  It’s a very large museum and everything is gorgeously displayed.

The cafe had some windows with displays of political questions about the ownership of all these precious objects.  I was happy to see it there — we certainly need to raise awareness, and there must be conversations about indigenous rights that were ignored in the past…and unfortunately continue to be flaunted.  I wish only that this discussion were a bit more “front and center,” but at least it was acknowledged.  That appeared to be so wherever we went in Canada, but it certainly will take a lot of work to “resolve” it.  Sigh.

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