University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Guardian Figure from French Gabon [Object of the Day #35]

Reliquary

By: Amy Ellsworth

This figure from Gabon is made of wood covered with metal sheets represents a human face and would serve as a reliquary guardian figure. Read more about the depiction of European people in Yoruba sculpture in Expedition magazine article The Pink People by David Crownover. Penn Museum Object #29-12-236. View this object and more like it […]

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

Nail Figures

By: Amy Ellsworth

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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The Golden Age of King Midas

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