Monthly Archives: June 2012

Nail Figures from Zaire [Object of the Day #11]

Nail Figures

Meet the Nkisi N’kondi nail figures from the lower Zaire River region (Kongo). These 19th century figures, studded with nails, are used by Kongo individuals who are looking for justice, for solutions to particular problems, or for protection against malevolent forces. By promising something to the figure a client ensures the assistance of the supernatural […]

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Summer Nights Twitter Photo Contest!

We want to see what you guys are experiencing at P.M. @ Penn Museum Summer Nights from your own perspective, so starting June 11th, we will be running a photo contest through Twitter! While you are here snapping away on your smartphones, tag your photos with #summernightsmusic @pennmuseum for a chance to win some great prizes! Here are a […]

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18th Century Lenape Finger Mask [Object of the Day #10]

Masks

An integral part of the (now extinct) Delaware Big House Church (xingwekaon) ceremony was the use of the Mesingw mask or carved face. It’s a representation of a powerful spirit (mesingwhalikan) that came to their ancestors centuries ago, and became incorporated into religious ceremonies. The mask would be painted red (ochre) on the right half […]

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Are You Game?

When my mom asked me if I wanted to go to last week’s Museum camp in February and she said it was about games I said “Sure.” I thought it would be fun because I already learned how to play the game Mancala last year at the Museum’s Domino Event and I was really good at […]

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Mandarin Square [Object of the Day #9]

Mandarin Square

This satin Mandarin Square from the Qing Dynasty, China (19th century) depicts a Qilin, a mythical horse-like animal reserved for the weaves of first rank military officers. The body of Qilin has a couched filling of twisted blue thread to create a scale effect. Symbols include peaches, peonies, and fungus with bamboo. Penn Museum Object […]

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Nigerian Dance Crest [Object of the Day #8]

Dance Crest

This wooden dance crest of a female head was made in the 20th century by the Ekoi or Ejagham people of Nigeria. A hide covers her face and hair and short nails stud the part above forehead. Five hornlike projections, carved in fluted style, decorate her elaborate braided hairstyle. Penn Museum Object #82-1-1. View this […]

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Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, June 2012

Near the end of May I had the privilege of giving a tour of the Penn Museum Mesopotamian storage to Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Anansi Boys, Coraline, and many other excellent books, graphic novels, and stories of all sorts. I asked him what he would like to see and he said anything and […]

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Baby Carrier from Borneo [Object of the Day #7]

Baby Carrier

This baby carrier, or ba’, was made around 1890 by the Kayan people of Borneo. Baby carriers not only serve a functional purpose, but have a spiritual significance as objects of ceremony and protection. The carrier may take 3 months to create and will be used until the baby is around two years old. The […]

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Anthropoid Coffin from Beth Shean [Object of the Day #6]

anthropoid_thumb

Anthropoid coffins are remnants of the Egyptian presence in the Levant, and date to end of the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages. The tomb in which this coffin was found probably dates to the Iron Age, sometime in the twelfth century BC. Anthropoid coffins, made from coarse clay, resemble the human form and are […]

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19th Century Cayuga Lacrosse Bats [Object of the Day #5]

Lacrosse Bats

The game of lacrosse originated among native North American peoples, where its symbolism reveals its affinity with warfare and highlights the relationship between game and battle. For the Iroquois, the game’s sacred associations are linked to the seven Thunder Gods whose powers support both war and healing. Today lacrosse is stilled played in some communities […]

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