Travel Tips & Adventures

Real People. Real Travel.

Posts Tagged ‘Anthropology’

Travel to University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

If you are interested in Totem Poles (and who isn’t?), you have two distinct possibilities to see them firsthand in Vancouver. B.C.  One option is “free” near the entrance of Stanley Park (see our September 28 blog).  The constant rumbling of tour buses stopping in the parking area is an interesting juxtaposition of ancient cultural and modern forms of pollution … 

I’m sure the original First Nations population of British Columbia would have been appalled, or at least confused by the throngs of tourists snapping photos and taking videos of the assembled collection of Totem Poles in the park.   

The other option for seeing Totem Poles and other collections of First Nations art is not free, but without the tour buses. 

Approximately 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, and an interesting drive through the suburban area of south Vancouver, is a quieter and reserved observation of the creations of the First Nations peoples.

(First Nations – - – refers to the over 600 aboriginal bands of peoples of Canada.)

A large collection of over 35,000 artifacts are housed at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) located on the campus of the University of British Columbia.  Today’s building is far more complex than its humble beginnings in 1949 in the basement of the University Library. 

The current museum was designed and built in 1976, holding collections of not only First Nations artifacts, but that of the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. 

Most well-known for its Northwest Coast collections, the MOA exhibits large sculptures in the Great Hall. 

These large wooden sculptures of red cedar are representative of several First Nations communities such as the Haida, Kwakwaka’wakw, and Oweekeno.  

Even a thousand years ago, guys were telling fish stories…

Really guys! The fish was THAT big!

"Really guys! The fish was THAT big!"