From Many Basements

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Pounders and quern

Before their visit to the town of Meroë, the African Expedition stopped to a less known locality, which was recorded by Henry Field with this paragraph in the 1949 Chronicles:

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The Secrets of the Sande

Last week, the PAHMA Ethnographic Move Team extracted a series of mysterious masks from storage.  They caught my eye with their fantastical hairstyles, black sheen, and compact triangular faces, and I later learned that these masks were thought to possess supernatural powers.


Various Sande masks ready for their photo sessions in the Museum.

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Paolo's picture

Potsherd

The ancient town of Meroë, in Sudan, had already been excavated for about thirty-five years when the University of California African Expedition was leaving Egypt and moving south through Sudan. In his 1949 chronicles, the anthropologist Henry Field wrote:
during a brief stop at Meroë, we took some photographs and collected a series of sherds.
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Paolo's picture

Chopper

The Department of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley was established in 1901. In the words of Frederick W. Putnam the department and the museum were necessary to properly organize several archaeological and ethnological expeditions maintained on behalf of the University by Mrs. Phoebe A. Hearst.
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Paolo's picture

Sharp knife

In a past episode, the radio show This American Life recalled the story of the Georgia Rambler, a 1970s reporter who would travel to small towns across the state searching for regular folks with interesting stories to publish in the Atlanta Journal. A similar project was carried out in the mid 1940s by Lena Creswell, a retired physician from San Diego, California who traveled the United States as a freelance writer.

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