history and culture

When I heard it at 11-ish last night, I wasn’t sure it was right.. sure I did vote for Obama, but honestly I wasn’t sure. I half expected to hear that ‘no no, we need to recount…we made a mistake, ect.’ According, to Yahoo news its the end of an era the conservatives are no longer the majority in power. Maybe something will actually get done! Watching people with tears in their eyes made me almost cry along with them. US history in the making.. we’ll be telling our grandchildren, “I remember when…”

So I to do this Cultural, Education and/or Diversity ‘project.’ I thought to myself aren’t we experiencing it right now? A historical event, something the US has never seen before? Couldn’t I just write about that?! But no, I’m still supposed to ‘do something I’ve never done before… that is legal.” After much ado, I decided on going to the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium located in Roger Williams Park. I’ve been to Roger Williams Park numerous times and had no idea that this place existed! I was online researching things to do or go to that related to the project and found that it is Rhode Island’s only natural history museum and is home to the state’s only planetarium. (http://www.providenceri.com/museum/) The museum was founded in June of 1896 and I presume the building dates back to about the 1800’s. The building itself looks like a work of art. The museum is incredibly affordable at $2 and there is plenty of parking, especially on a Wednesday afternoon.

Downstairs was an exhibition of Native American artifacts entitled “All Things Connected: Native American Creations.” I found it interesting how the Europeans had an influence on their art and artifacts. For example, many people associate beaded works with Native American craftwork, however, they acquired the beads from Europeans used to use them as trade for goods.

When one approaches the stairs they are ‘greeted’ with a gigantic stuffed black bear at the top of the stairs, I don’t mean the kind you took to bed as a child either. As an animal lover the stuffed animals were a bit disconcerting.

In the upstairs gallery, I was blown away by the exhibition called “Circle of the Sea: An exhibit of Oceanic Art and Objects” This exhibition was in their upstairs gallery. I was really impressed with how the people of this region used natural materials in unique and creative ways, even the most ordinary of objects looked like a piece of art. There was a wooden fork there that one could’ve set on a pedestal, it looked too beautiful to eat with!

Even the tools they used to make stuff with looked like works of art. Everything was intricate, detailed, and made of things from the land or life. There was this sash that was made of banana and hibiscus fibers. It looked like the sort of thing one could buy at any boutique. The craftsmanship was outstanding. I walked around exploring all the artifacts crammed into this room. There was a necklace made of carved sperm whale tooth, braided human hair and plant fiber.. it was kind of crazy looking.
I wandered around taking photos with my cellphone and emailed them to myself so I could share…


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