Museum Project. Pictures attached.


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California Indians exhibit room

1. 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.

2. 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.

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.


Pre-Columbian Pottery in hallway

West Mexican Shaft Tomb collection…

3. Summarize these articles in one paragraph.

4. Write a description of three of these artifacts and describe what kind of social structure they seem to come from.


‘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.

5. What is Ongka trying to do? How did it work out for him?

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.