Saturday Spotlight Talks


My Siberian Year, 1914-1915

8 November, 14.30

In May 1914, Polish anthropologist Marie Antoinette Czaplicka set off for Siberia in charge of an expedition to study the reindeer-herding Evenki people. She was twenty-nine years old, had recently completed a diploma in anthropology at Oxford, and had started researching the peoples of Siberia, looking particularly at spirit worship and shamanism.

This talk explores the expedition, its extraordinary hardships, and the Evenki people that were the focus of research. One of the aims of the expedition was to collect artefacts for both Pennsylvania University Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum, a selection of which are on display in Oxford to mark the centenary.


Haida box

Learning From the Masters: Recarving the Great Box

15 November, 14.30

In September 2014, two Haida carvers, Gwaai Edenshaw and Jaalen Edenshaw, came to the Pitt Rivers Museum to learn by doing: to reclaim the mastery of the nineteenth century artist of the ‘Great Box,’ a Haida masterpiece. They brought a new, blank box, drawn with the designs of the historic box, and over four weeks worked with the real thing to make their own copy of it.

This talk will discuss the Museum’s work with Haida people on this and other projects, and the process of remaking the Great Box.