anthropology class Bowers museum


Bowers museum project

You are going to look at exhibits that exemplify bands, tribes, chieftainships, and feudal states.


California Indians exhibit room

  • Read all of these linked articles and summarize them in two well-developed paragraphs.The first paragraph should be a summary of the social structure and culture area, the second a summary of their history in the modern era.
  • Choose three artifacts from the room (take a picture) and describe how they support the culture area description you just read.For example, there is ample evidence that they were foragers of the natural environment not farmers or herds.
  • Summarize these articles in one paragraph.
  • Write a description of three of these artifacts and describe what kind of social structure they seem to come from.
  • What is Ongka trying to do?How did it work out for him?

NOTE:The baskets in the middle are ‘tourist art’ as described in Chapter 7 that California natives made to sell after they became subjects of Mexico and then the United States.

Exhibit B

Pre-Columbian Pottery in hallway

West Mexican Shaft Tomb collection…

Exhibit C

‘Spirits and Headhunters:Art of the Pacific Islands’

This part is a little more in-depth.

PLEASE watch

Ongka’s Big Moka before you go.

At the museum

6)Compare and contrast the ‘culture areas’ of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.Why were the culture area boundaries drawn where they were?This should only be a paragraph long.Please don’t copy the museum signs verbatim:that’s annoying.

Now we are going to focus on Melanesia — be sure you get the right section!!

This Culture Area is characterized by chieftainships of a unique type.High status men compete with each other for chiefly ranks (backed by their women who control their access to wealth) by organizing and sponsoring big ritualized feasts called Moka with other villages in their own group and sometimes with other communities.Ritualized violence between men was also a hallmark of this culture area.In the colonial imagination they were most famous for head hunting and head shrinking.

7)Describe the role of ancestors in the cultures of Melanesia.Find two artifacts of ancestors and take a picture of them.Please look it up online for more info here,but keep your summary of this info to one well-developed paragraph.

8)What is a Men’s House?Find the Men’s House ladders in the big center room before the exhibit.What happens in a Men’s House?Take picture of Men’s House artifacts.

9) Find the Pig Killer club and describe how it would be used in a Moka. Take a picture.

The first three pictures are for exhibit A and the next two pictures (with descriptions) are for question 7