Places to Go

Museum of Anthropology…


Our love for family field trips has taken us to many places but somehow we hadn’t ventured across the city to the Anthropology Museum at the University of British Columbia.  Lucky for us, a friend gave us a coupon to coincide with a long weekend and we made the trip at the last minute.  So glad we did!  Sometimes we hesitate to go into museums – having young children makes it nerve-wracking – but this museum lends itself completely to a family adventure.  In addition to the visual displays, statues, sculptures and paintings in every direction, there are seemingly endless drawers of cultural objects from all over the world. There is more to see than we could pack into one day – but we tried!

We started off in the main gallery where the objects on display reflect local aboriginal culture and art…











The sculptures are wild and regal at once – they fill the grand hall with fun and fierceness.

Next stop for us was the European ceramic arts gallery…  this was reminiscent of our summer in Europe as many of the objects seemed so familiar.  The entrance to the ceramic gallery has this sculpture to greet the guests:




…and then case after case of lovely ceramic art from all over Europe, any of which I would have been thrilled to bring home as a souvenir…



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So lovely!  These are the things I hunt for at garage sales and flea markets all over the world – sadly for me the museum hunters are out there too.  Our next stop was a gallery of modern art photography from Nairobi called “Pigapicha!” – the Swahili word for “Take a picture!”  (This could be the working title of my autobiography – I’m a pigapicha kind of girl…)  The photos were striking – we could see the evolution of culture over the hundred years represented:





Just outside is one of my favourite sculptures of all time… Biil Reid’s “Raven and the First Men” which brings the Haida Gwaii creation story to life.  I have photographed it from every angle over and over and still marvel at the softness and strength within.  Also, it makes me laugh. (Hard not to when looking at little wooden bums squirming backwards out of a big clamshell…)



If you haven’t seen Bill Reid’s work I highly recommend it to you.  One of his sculptures is at the Vancouver Aquarium and another is at the Vancouver International Airport (and also on our 20$ bill!)  Each piece has a spirit of its’ own, and they have done great work as ambassadors for culture around the world…

Of course there was so much more to see.  We stopped for lunch at the gallery café (perfect) and then headed back through the countless displays of textiles, sculptures, jewelry and art from almost every continent.  Here, for you, is a random sampling!

Great plains artifacts for Mimi to covet…

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So many crazy masks…

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So many religious artifacts…


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Including Saint Veronica from the sixth (my favourite) station…

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And many more gorgeous global arts and crafts…

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We explored the gallery until we could not possibly open another drawer or inspect another artifact, and then we went outside to enjoy the view and explore the grounds…

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“But why had we come, if not to depend upon our own resources and in so doing, discover more about them?  There are circuits and juices in every person that are the heritage of millions of years of evolution and survival in wild country.  They need exercising – add a twinge of fear and wonder, and they can bring the world into focus with astonishing clarity.”
 ~ James Baldwin


For this day, for this world, for the people in it and especially the ones I love most dearly – let me be truly grateful… for they are more precious than silver or gold…

“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.”
 ~ William Stafford


3 thoughts on “Museum of Anthropology…

  1. Pingback: First Nations Art… | martinistyle

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