On the Ramp, as in the adjacent Great Hall, large scale sculptures from the Northwest Coast are grouped by general culture area.
|Audience |||All Ages|
Schedule of Events
08-Dec-13 to 08-Dec-14
|Museum Of Anthropology||Don't let the name scare you, you don't even have to know what anthropology means to enjoy this place.|
Works from Coast Salish communities - including Musqueam, Saanich, Tsartlip - are located on both sides at the top of the Ramp. A spectacular blanket, woven by contemporary Musqueam artists Debra and Robyn Sparrow, was commissioned by the Museum in 1997 and installed in 1999. Further down and to your right (on the Ramp as well as in the Great Hall), you will find Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwagiutl) carvings. Facing them on the left side are works from northern groups, including the Haida, Gitxsan (Tsimshian), and Nisga'a (Tsimshian).
Many of the large sculptures on the ramp once formed parts of the cedar plank houses in which First Nations families lived. Some of the carvings functioned as posts supporting roof beams, while others stood decoratively against interior or exterior walls. Coastal house sculptures generally represent ancestors or powerful beings associated with the history of the residents of the house.
In the 1950s, a number of late nineteenth and early twentieth century totem poles were removed from their original village sites. With their owners' cooperation, the pieces were selected, purchased, and moved to museums where they are now protected from decay and vandalism, and available for study by contemporary artists and researchers. Several of the larger poles were cut into smaller sections to facilitate removal. In some cases, First Nations artists made replicas of the poles which were returned to replace the originals.