Museum Studies, ANT 374, taught by Dr. Kate Driscoll, meets every spring to examine “the history, organization, and administration of museums as well as the methods of acquisition, preservation and exhibition of artifacts”[ANT 374 syllabus, Kate Driscoll, Spring 2021].

This year 10 students worked in pairs to collaborate and create their own unique exhibit using items from the Ethnology Teaching Collection housed in Schroeder Hall. Driscoll also provided a display (“ETC” shown in the middle case of the top left picture below) which showcased a QR code linking to the online Ethnology Teaching Collection where all the artifacts students have available to them are catalogued electronically. The exhibits, which are located on the second floor of Schroeder Hall, are left up for an entire year for passerbys to learn about other cultures.

Museum Studies – student exhibits, spring 2021

Cooking in Thailand: Then vs. Now

by Maggie Rengers and Sarah McCullough

This exhibit displays different cooking utensils that are used in Thailand. Some of these items are traditional items that would have been used in the past and some are more modern that are used in Thailand today. There are also some items showcased in the exhibit that were used both traditionally and are still used today in Thai households. This exhibit hopes to show the continuity of some Thai cooking utensils which have been used for hundreds of years in Thailand. On the left we display the traditional items, while on the right we display more modern items that are used. In the middle of the exhibit we have a small table set with both traditional and modern serving ware to show what a typical setting might look like.

The Use of Animals in Japanese Celebration

by Nathan Beck and Josh Mol

Our exhibit focuses on the use of animals in Japanese celebrations and Japanese culture.  This exhibit explores the meanings of various animals and colors in Japanese culture and how two come together.  It also shows how each animal is used or represented in Japanese celebrations.

Indigenous Identities: North American Native Footwear

by Sophia de Sa e Silva and Anna Tulley 

Our exhibit aspires to educate and stimulate appreciation of separate North American Indigenous peoples’ beaded footwear in the Illinois State University Ethnology Teaching Collection. This exhibit explores individual native cultures through the examination and display of historical material culture. We seek to illuminate the connections between moccasins and their wearers.

We would like to acknowledge that our campus sits on the lands that were once home to the Illini, Peoria and the Myaamia, and later due to colonial encroachment and displacement to the Fox, Potawatomi, Sauk, Shawnee, Winnebago, Ioway, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Wea, and Kickapoo nations. We also express honor to those indigenous people who we may have excluded in this acknowledgment due to erasure and historical inaccuracy.

Faces of Folklore

by Sophia Pressler and Matt Hill

The Faces of Folklore exhibit aims to represent the folklore traditions of Japanese and Mexican cultures through the display of masks used for ceremonial and recreational purposes within these cultures. By comparing the masks from Japan and Mexico, we see that though the stories, characters, and styles of the masks differ greatly, both cultures use these masks to bring folkloric narratives into the physical world. Most of these masks represent the supernatural or otherworldly creatures which are featured in the popular myths, legends, and folklore of Japan and Mexico. Masks seem to reinforce the people’s connection with their cultural heritage.

Native American Dolls (Sioux, Ute and Hopi tribes)

by Kristine Carey and Madelina Nunez 

The term “Kachina” refers to a number of important beliefs to the Hopi tribe. The dolls represent the impersonation of a spiritual being, the clouds, and the dead. The Kachinas are spiritual beings who were believed to live in the San Francisco Mountains. During modern times, Hopi men dress in costumes and masks to represent the Kachina dolls and come to the Hopi village to dance, celebrate with presents for children, and bring rain to the Arizona desert.

Native American dolls are used for play as well as a teaching tool for children learning about adult life. They also encourage imagination in children. The materials that the dolls are made from reflect the environments in which each tribe lived. The Ute are primarily from Utah and Colorado while the Sioux lived in the Great Plains.