|The BC Museum of Anthropology|
|Friday, 22 October 2004 00:00|
When we first arrived here in April, we asked Ian what he felt were "must see" places to visit and one definite that he suggested was the Museum of Anthropology located at the University of British Columbia. Today, almost six months later, we finally managed to go there. The university is situated on roughly 400 hectares, is approximately a half hour drive from downtown and is adjoined to Pacific Spirit Park. It isn't a wonder, aside from the academics, that students from around the world apply to attend here! Between the mountains, the beaches and the ocean, it is certainly in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.
The anthropology museum is the largest teaching museum in Canada and houses over 535,000 objects, some of it North American Native artefacts. However, there is an extensive collection of various things from pottery to clothing to tools to toys and much more from hundreds of cultures from around the world. We found exhibits of modern native art and sculptures as well as enormous, ancient totem poles oozing with history and a huge European ceramics display donated in 1990 by Dr. Walter Koerner. It is certainly a place worthy of many visits because there is so much to see and learn about. We wandered in awe from room to room as we absorbed as much as we could however we needed far more time than we had allowed ourselves.
Through it all, we learned a little bit more about West Coast native history and culture and a minute amount about some ancient ways of life. I am always saddened by the history of our thoughtless ancestors who attempted to destroy a nation because they didn't understand it. We have lost a lot but thankfully there are places like this where we go to learn from their mistakes and try to imagine how things were back then.