By Douglas Cole
The heyday of anthropological amassing at the Northwest Coast happened among 1875 and the nice melancholy. The scramble for skulls and skeletons, poles, canoes, baskets, banquet bowls, and mask went on till it appeared that just about every thing now not nailed down or hidden used to be long past. The interval of such a lot extreme amassing at the coast coincided with the expansion of anthropological museums, which mirrored the belief that point used to be operating out and that civilization used to be pushing the indigenous humans to the wall, destroying their fabric tradition or even extinguishing the local inventory itself. Douglas Cole examines the method of amassing within the context of the advance of museums and anthropology. the most North American museums with Northwest Coast collections -- the Smithsonian establishment, the yank Museum of common historical past, Chicago's box Museum of average historical past, the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa -- have been severe competitors within the race opposed to time. For the hot variation of Captured history, Douglas Cole has written a preface during which he outlines advancements because the book's first e-book in 1985. for the reason that that point, for instance, the Kwagiulth Museum and Cultural heart on Quadra Island and the U'Mista Museum and Cultural middle at Alert Bay were profitable in having a few of their artifacts repatriated.
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Extra info for Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts
He had launched the "Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge" publications series with a study of the prehistoric mounds of the Mississippi Valley by Ephriam G. Squire and Edwin H. Davis. By 1861 he was reporting that no part of the Institution's operations "has been more generally popular" than ethnology. " To this end he had a circular prepared by George Gibbs for distribution to correspondents and institutions in the West, including Vancouver Island and British Columbia. While the emphasis of the circular was philological, upon the collection of vocabularies, a revision in 1863 put added emphasis on ethnological material and carried a covering remark by Henry that the Smithsonian was "desirous of extending and completing its collections of facts and materials" on the races of mankind inhabiting the continent of America.
3 Collections now began to come in from correspondents as well as from government explorers and surveyors, increasing the museum's collections in ethnology with greater rapidity than any 12 B A I R D AND SWAN B U I L D A C O L L E C T I O N other division. From a mere 825 catalogued specimens, the ethnology collection increased to 13,084 items in 1873. "4 From the American Southwest came collections by Edward Palmer and Major J. W. Powell of the Rocky Mountain Survey; from the Mackenzie Basin, collections made by Robert Kenicott; from northern Alaska, by W.
M. S. Boxer and who now promised, if officially asked, to take Swan with him in the coming spring on a similar voyage along the entire B. C. coast. According to Swan's plan, collections from every coastal tribe would be exhibited at Philadelphia within a full-sized Tlingit house complete with inside carvings and outside poles. The separately installed productions of each tribe would allow comparisons. Equally striking would be a display of the distinctive canoe types, Makah, Salish, and Haida (as well as an Aleut baidarka), each of which could be manned by native crews.