New Exhibit Showcases Asian Saddle Rugs

Persian Saddle Rug“Weaving along the Silk Road: Amazing Asian Saddle Rugs” is a colorful, long-term exhibit opening in the Museum of Anthropology on Sept. 25.

The exhibit focuses on the geographic area defined by the Silk Road, a trade and communications network that extended on land from China to Constantinople (now Istanbul) beginning in the first century BCE. Using materials obtained from their flocks and plants, women in cultures along the Silk Road have traditionally woven beautiful saddle rugs, first on portable looms in tents, later on larger looms in village houses, and finally in city workshops and factories.

Saddle covers make sitting on saddles for long periods more comfortable for equestrians. Horse covers help to keep the animals warm and protect their backs from the saddles. The exhibit explores these and other surprising ways saddle rugs function, including in ceremonies and sports.

Ella Douglas, a senior anthropology major at Wake Forest University, worked with museum director Stephen Whittington last spring to plan “Weaving along the Silk Road.” She researched saddle rugs and the cultures that have used them, located photographs of saddle rugs in use, wrote drafts of text and labels, and helped to develop the exhibit’s layout.

The exhibit features weavings and saddles from Turkmen tribal groups in Turkey and Afghanistan, Persian villages and cities, Tibet, and China, all drawn from Nicolas Salgo’s collection of saddle rugs, amassed from the 1940s through the end of the 20th century. The Salgo Trust for Education donated the rugs to the Museum of Anthropology in 2011. The late Nicolas Salgo was U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and Ambassador-at-Large during the 1980s.

WFU Interns Begin Work at the Museum

Yidan Fu working with Chinese ceramics

Intern Yidan Fu unwraps Chinese ceramics from the Lam Collection

This semester, four Wake Forest students are completing internships with the MOA staff.  Each internship includes a study of anthropological literature as well as a hands-on project.

Museum Director Stephen Whittington is supervising junior history major Yidan Fu as she conducts research into the Lam Collection of Chinese ceramics.  Yidan’s research will be the foundation for a new long-term exhibit featuring the ceramics, which will open in 2013.

Two students are working with Registrar & Collections Manager Kyle Bryner.  Demone Jackson, a junior anthropology major, and Kathryn Rolhwing, a senior anthropology major, will research and create an exhibit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Museum of Anthropology in 2013.

Museum Educator Tina Smith is working with Keirah Carmichael, a junior anthropology minor, who will create lesson plans and activities for two of the Museum’s outreach kits, as well as learn to present one of the Museum’s K-12 curriculum-based programs.

The interns have created blogs to document the progress of their readings and projects.  They can be accessed via the following links:

Yidan Fu Blog
Demone Jackson Blog
Kathryn Rohlwing Blog
Keirah Carmichael Blog

Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) Exhibition Opens Sept. 11

The Museum of Anthropology will display its annual Días de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) exhibit from Sept. 11 through Dec. 14.

The exhibit features a traditional Mexican ofrenda — a home altar with sugar skulls, colorful tissue paper cutouts of skeletons, food and beverage offerings, marigolds and photos of deceased relatives.  A children’s ofrenda and photographs illustrating different aspects of the celebration will also be on display. The exhibit features text in English and Spanish.

The Days of the Dead is an ancient religious celebration that originally honored children and the dead. It has evolved to incorporate a blend of ancient Indian and Christian features. The celebration is considered a festive time when family members remember and honor their dead and the continuity of life.

Fall Issue of MOA News Now Available

Read all about what happened at the Museum over the summer and what we’re planning for the fall.

MOA News Volume 20 No 1

Parking Changes at MOA

UPDATE 8/27/12: The Museum’s visitor parking spaces have been restored.

Due to changes on the campus of Wake Forest University, the parking situation at the Museum of Anthropology has changed. There will be one visitor parking spot and one handicapped visitor parking spot in the lot in front of the Museum. If these spaces are full, visitors may park in the general lot bordered by the tennis courts, Palmer and Piccolo dorms, and WFDD. Bus parking in the Museum lot is unchanged. The Museum does not have the authority to void any parking tickets. We value our visitors and regret the inconvenience this change may cause. If you have trouble finding a parking spot, please ask the Museum staff for further suggestions.

Summer Issue of MOA News Now Available

Read about everything going on at the Museum during the coming months.

MOA News Volume 19 No 3