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.


Inuit Kamik from Greenland

Elizabth Peng and Karen Thomson, Curatorial Assistant at the Penn Museum, examine the lining of these Eskimo (Inuit) boots.

By: Margaret Bruchac

Fashion: Fur, Flowers, and Flannel Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Elizabeth Peng The clothes that we put on our bodies are rarely simple: they are imbued with cultural and aesthetic purposes that cannot be easily disconnected from the materials from which they are constructed. A myriad of factors come together to create the […]

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Malagasy Textile [Object of the Day- #53]

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By: Ashley Harper

This textile of dyed and sewn silk is sometimes called a Lamba, a garment worn by men and women in Madagascar. The dyes used are believed to be aniline, an organic compound, which can produce the maroon, purple, green, cerise and gold stripes. This design features two stripes of unbleached natural color silk sewn alongside three […]

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Blouse, Huipil [Object of the Day- #52]

Huipil, Blouse from Guatemala

By: Ashley Harper

This huipil or blouse is made of cotton and silk fibers. It consists of two pieces of material woven together. Most notable are the randa- elaborate shoulder bands. These designs portray animals and double headed eagles in colors like lavender, yellow, white, deep rose, green, purple silk and red cotton. This blouse is an example of […]

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Secrets of Silk Science

By: Gabrielle Niu

It is said that that the Chinese closely and successfully guarded the secrets of silk production until a Chinese princess was sent to marry the king of the Taklamakan Desert oasis, Khotan. As the story goes, this princess carried to her new kingdom silkworm cocoons hidden in her gowns and destroyed the Chinese monopoly on silk […]

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