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Showing blog posts tagged with "Anthropology"

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Beetle-Wing Body Art: Shuar Ear Ornaments

From the Collections posts

When dressing for special occasions, the Shuar people of the upper Amazon adorn themselves with ornaments made from materials found in the surrounding rain forest: feathers, plant fibers, animal parts, wood, and stone. Along with colorful headdresses and necklaces, men wear dramatic ear ornaments like those pictured here, which are made from toucan feathers, glass beads, and the iridescent wing covers of the giant ceiba borer beetle, Euchroma gigantea.

Tags: Anthropology

Decades of Discovery on St. Catherines Island

Research posts

David Hurst Thomas is the curator of North American Archaeology in the Museum’s Division of Anthropology and has spent his career studying the human history of St. Catherines Island. Below, he explains how archaeological finds are proving history books wrong.

For nearly four decades, it’s been my privilege to work as an archaeologist on St. Catherines—a Manhattan-sized island 10 miles off the Georgia coastline. One of the storied Golden Isles, St. Catherines is privately owned; only two people live there. Forty years ago, the Edward John Noble Foundation established a long-term relationship with the American Museum of Natural History to pursue scientific research, conservation, and education on the island.

Tags: Anthropology

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Cycle of Life

From the Collections posts

Curator Laurel Kendall was visiting Vietnam to collect artifacts for the 2003 exhibition Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit when she encountered an exceptional artisan near Hanoi. His medium was paper, and his specialty was creating votive offerings used in funeral rituals by the Kinh people, Vietnam’s majority population.

The Kinh, in common with some other East Asian peoples, believe that a deceased leaves the underworld 49 days after death to begin a new life. Family members burn paper objects—representing  clothing, housewares, and other necessities—to equip their loved ones for the transition to the afterlife.

Tags: Anthropology, From the Collections

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