Costly bird of paradise plumes are part of
New Guinea Highlander John Golomb's headdress.
18 May, 14.30
“Striptease” in Highland New Guinea
This talk by Dr Michael O'Hanlon, Director of the Museum, focuses on the dramatic performances mounted by groups in parts of the New Guinea Highlands, when people shed their everyday clothing and decorate themselves elaborately in pearlshells, paint and plumes.
Come to Saturday Spotlight and find out what lies behind such spectacular performances and how this most spectacular dressing up is also a kind of dressing down, a striptease in which people reveal themselves as they really are.
This Saturday Spotlight talk is part of VERVE, the Museum’s five year project to renew major case runs on all three of its floors. The case renewal begins on the ground floor where the theme is masquerade and performance. VERVE is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous donors. All the re-displays will be done in Pitt Rivers’ characteristic artefact-rich style.
15 June, 14:30
Exhibition Talk: What happens when museum objects go home for a visit?
In 2010 five historic Blackfoot shirts travelled from the Pitt Rivers to Alberta, Canada. The shirts are made of elk hide, porcupine quills, human and horse hair, and painted with war deeds. Historic items such as the shirts have become important to Blackfoot people as symbols of identity, and contact with them has become a means of re-establishing cultural practices suppressed by colonial governments. The Museum’s temporary exhibition, Visiting with the Ancestors: the Blackfoot Shirts Project (March 7-September 1), displays these shirts and tells the story of how they travelled back to Blackfoot communities for a visit, of Blackfoot responses to the shirts, and of hopes for the future.
Dr Laura Peers, curator of this exhibition, will talk about working with Blackfoot people and museum collections on this special project.