Inside the Peabody Museum August 2016
SIGN UP to get Inside the Peabody Museum every month
Last Chance to See In Fine Feather
From a mummy mask adorned with boldly colored feathers, to delicate feather inlay jewelry, In Fine Feather: Selected Featherwork from the Peabody Collections features unusual and rarely seen works of spiritual power and craftsmanship. Highlighting rare and beautiful pieces, this small-scale exhibition explores the ways in which feathers have been used to signal or endow beauty, wealth, status, and spiritual wellbeing in cultures around the world.
The exhibition has been extended through Sunday, September 11, 2016. Complete your experience with a visit to the connected Harvard Museum of Natural History's Birds of the World gallery.
Free Admission to Science Museums Nationwide
The new yam festival takes place at the beginning of the harvest season, and a mask such as this would have been part of the occasion. According to the BBC, "traditional fertility and marriage ceremonies are not carried out in the south-east of Nigeria unless a big unwieldy yam - which can weigh up to 70kg (150lb) - is presented. This is why the Igbo people refer to yam as 'the king of crops' and August and September are a time for traditional dances, drumming, masquerades and dressing up in village squares. 'From my great grandfathers, yam has always been celebrated because it is very important to us,' said Mary Eze at a new yam festival in the village of Ukpo Dunukofia in Anambra State."
Image Credits: Mummy mask with feathers, Peru. PM# 42- 28-30/5804 (digital file# 99320014). Igbo yam festival mask from Nigeria. PM# 61-58-50/10510 (digital file #99310059). All images © President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
See what's coming up in the Calendar of Events.