Saturday, October 16, 2010

MOA at UBC continued...

The Museum of Anthropology 
UBC campus

if you have not seen the previous post please consider reading it before proceeding here,
it is the introduction...

Vintage Cowichan wool sweater

Slight segway...
my father had one very much like this one
he wore it traipsing around the province when he was employed by the BC Forest Service
I "borrowed" it on many occasions in my youth.

I bought my first Cowichan sweater when I was 15
with my BFF 
my current one was purchased with my BFF 
a couple of years ago
the Cowichan knitter's name is Arlene
here is my sweater

The art of knitting these sweaters could be lost
I spoke with an elder at Hills when I bought my lovely daughter a sweater in September this year
and she told me the young women are not embracing knitting these today...
It would be such as shame to lose these designs and warm water resistant garments.

and now back to the MOA!

cases and cases 
of carvings

works representing all the major tribes from BC

I have a particular fondness for First Nations baskets
(if you go back into my early blog posts you can see the baskets)

I confess that I was overwhelmed by the variety and number here at the museum and after awhile stopped taking photographs
I was on sensory overload!


look at the patterns and motifs...

I have never seen a table such as this!

we walked through several rooms 
cases and drawers full

Meandering and weaving through rooms
and then an open space...

prepare yourself...
this carving was made out of one large tree trunk
skill and craft merge

from all angles it is brilliant

I walk around many times in awe...

look closely at the details

Read about Bill Reid here,

I hope that you can read the plaque

The Koerner's commissioned this piece for their garden!

The museum has many other displays
a collection of ceramics
Japanese, Chinese, and Inuvit art
travelling shows
films and photographs.

We focused exclusively on the First Nations collection
and were not disappointed
and were most impressed.

We spent a rainy Sunday afternoon perusing this museum
which has a
 tea room, gift shop and grounds with totems, outbuildings 
and paths with reflecting pools 

I encourage you to visit if you ever find yourself in Vancouver, BC
this place is a treasure
bring your camera
it is a photograph friendly place.

I'll leave you with this lasting image
admission stickers
not recycled
in the suggested container inside the museum!

urban art 
at the
crosswalk to the car park...

and as a post script

I worked at UBC...not far from the MOA
at the Computing Centre
Computer Sciences Building
mid 70's 
(a beautiful campus located slightly south and west of the city)

 the IBM mainframe computers took up several rooms
the technologists
sat at a desk with a space age looking dashboard of dials and lights
they would manually feed the tapes onto the disk drives
we had card readers
(which jammed on a regular basis)
and dial up was the handset of a telephone resting in a connection box!

How far we have come from coastal villages of indigenous peoples
communicating via the internet
and blogging on laptops...


  1. many beautiful things. Old textiles are amazing. I went to the "Silk Road" exhibit this spring and was totally caught off-guard by the complexity of ancient textiles and weaving.

  2. Fascinating - what a beautiful space and what incredible special pieces. The carvings are particularly amazing. THank you for these posts Hostess. x

  3. Hostess: Your writing and pictures satisfy all my traveling needs. And I admire your enthusiasm :)m

  4. Once again I am transported to places I may never have the opportunity to see (but then again, who knows)! From the sound of it, you are blessed to own a Cowichan sweater. It IS difficult to pass on some of these skills in an age that moves faster and faster all the time...The carving is amazing! What an interesting place.

  5. hi leslie,

    i lovelovelovelove that sweater. i want one. so ralph. i'm going to google them right now.


  6. Dear Ms Leslie, I love virtual tours of museums. Thank you for sharing this one. I don't know a lot about the First Nations but from your photos and description think I would like to learn more (so more please!!!) The Bill Reid sculture is astonishing and yet playful and accessible. While I am not what Ms FF would call a whippersnapper, I am a knitter - I find it very relaxing.

  7. Thanks for indulging me here.
    With such a different post I was not sure how it might be received.

    Janet- I hope that you found what you were looking for on the net...I can tell you these sweaters last for decades and are water resistant and warm...great for our Pacfic Northwest Climate.

    Linda in Chile- I am not an expert on the First nations people or culture...but I am fascinated by what I have seen and how resourceful they were...they developed great skills at hunting, fishing and made clothing out of cedar bark and deerskins and still made time for art and potlatches (large feasts)
    You could try searching the internet for Haida and see where that's a start anyway!