Featured Exhibits for November

This November, the International Museum of Cultures is featuring two unique exhibits.

 

In honor of Veterans Day, a specialized Vietnam War exhibit is on display for one more week. Not only can you tour a display of awards and metals given to Col. Herbert H. Kamm for outstanding service in the United States Air Force and his original party suit, but also images entitled “Where Giants Dwell” of the 4th Air Commando Squadron Flight C placed on display by the family of Major Burnet Neil. These two displays in particular are available for viewing including other memorable artifacts and military documents from local veterans of the Vietnam War. Outside the exhibit, a table supports a binder filled with essays written by students on the topic: “What Does Freedom Mean to You”. These essays were awarded at the Salute to Veterans event hosted by the museum on November 11th.

 

 2 1 3

 

 5

 

 

 

 

 

November is also Native American Heritage Month. Throughout this month, the International Museum of Cultures celebrates the struggles, triumphs and culture of Native American Nations who occupied North America from New York to California. In particular, this exhibit highlights the cultural aspect of bison in relation to its impact on the livelihood of Native Americans throughout history. Plus, numerous displays feature Kachina Dancer Dolls, feathered headdresses, and Plains Indians’ war axes. Even beaded jewelry and a colorful peace pipe are available for viewing along side the portrait of Kiowa Chief Satanta. This exhibit is open until the end of the month.

 

6 7 10 11 8 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We highly encourage you to bring your friends, family and students to the museum to participate in the educational experience offered by these two distinct exhibits.

Learn About the People of Mexico at the Museum or Through a Virtual Tour from Your Own School

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) explores the diversity of languages in Mexico.

The IMC has an exhibit that provides an overview of the richness and diversity of languages in Mexico. It highlights samples of the more than 150 native languages still spoken there. The exhibit additionally focuses on some social implications of this diversity of languages within the national life of Mexico.

Electronic Field Trip at the International Museum of Cultures

If you have students that are interested but not able to visit the museum in person, there is another alternative. The IMC also provides insight into Mexico in its Electronic Field Trip. In the IMC Electronic Field Trip, a Museum Docent of Mexican heritage explains to  students that are touring the museum the tonal importance of these languages. Below is a sample of the dialogue in the Museum’s Virtual Tour:

DOCENT: “You can see that most of the non-Spanish speakers live in the southern part of Mexico. Some of the languages are tonal which means that the only difference between “I’m going, and I’m not going” may be the tone of your voice. Likewise, some are also nasal, and you must say a vowel through your nose. If you don’t, you might say “chili pepper”, like I did when you really wanted to say “horse’s tail”!”
STUDENT: “That could be a problem if you were trying to make chili and put a horse’s tail in the pot.”
DOCENT: “You’re right. Languages, to some extent, are partially a result of need. Mixtec dialects can have as many as 20 different words for corn, like the Eskimos have many words for snow: soft snow, slushy snow, icy snow, etc. The Tzeltales in the state of Chiapas have 25 verbs for “carry”, depending on HOW you are going to carry something: on your back, over your shoulder, in a pocket, in your hand, etc. “

View the promotional video of the eField Trip that visits Mexico, South America, Africa, and Papua New Guinea. Learn more by visiting International Museum of Cultures or call us at (972) 572-0462.

Primitive Weapons and Hunting Implements Exhibit at the IMC

Over forty examples of hunting implements are displayed from Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, numerous tribes located in areas of South America, and Africa. The wall display presents a variety of blow guns, bows and arrows and spears.

Primitive Weapons from the International Museum of Cultures

Everything in the IMC exhibit is identified as hunting equipment

Everything in the exhibit is identified as hunting equipment.  These indigenous people hunt birds, alligators, pigs, etc.  They may use a blow gun to stun the animal (if it’s large) and finish the kill with the spear.  African spears in this exhibit have metal tips.  The Vietnam cross bow and blow guns from Ecuador, Brazil, Columbia and Peru are similar in design, but destinctive in decoration.

The International Museum of Cultures exhibits include interactive videos from Africa, Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, China, Mexico, South America and Native America, in addition to an extensive drum exhibit accompanied by video programming.

International Museum of Cultures Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

IMC TO CELEBRATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) will observe Hispanic Heritage Month with traveling exhibits.

The first exhibit will open Monday, September 17th at Nissan-USA headquarters, located at DFW Freeport. Special programming will be held at their headquarters throughout the week. The second exhibit will be shown at the Government Center, DeSoto.

Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15 each year with art exhibits, concerts, festivals, lectures parties, etc. The contributions, cultures, histories and traditions of individuals from Mexico, Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America are highlighted during the observance at the IMC.

About the National Hispanic Heritage Month

The IMC is dedicated to showing the cultural diversity of countries around the world, especially those indigenous cultures living in remote areas. The 2012 theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is “Many Background, Many Stories…One American Spirit” A special online game “Paco’s Passport at PBS KIDS GO!” is available on line. The museum has the PASSPORT game available in the International Expressions Gift Shop.

For further information regarding programming for the month consult the website or visit us on Facebook or call us at (972) 708-7406.

The Talking Drum, from the International Museum of Cultures’ Virtual Field Trip for Teachers

Through the IMC Electronic Field Trip, the museum’s exhibits on indigenous peoples come to life. For instance, a teacher can have students experience the unusual “Talking Drum” without having to leave the classroom.

The International Museum of Cultures has exhibits on the Bimoba people. The Chief of the Bimoba people uses a Talking Drum to announce the arrival of visitors to the village or when the chief wishes to call a special meeting.

When we think of drums being used to communicate, we often think of the drum as a musical instrument. However, many cultures throughout history used them to convey a signal. In addition to signalling, drums have also been used as a speech surrogate. A Speech Surrogate replicates the tone and rhythm of oral speech.

Drums that are used as Speech Surrogates are also referred to as “tallking Drums”. Refer to our previous post on Talking Drums. In that post we highlight Paul Neeley and his book, the “People of the Drum of God – Come”.

Below are excerpts from the dialogue in the International Museum of Cultures Virtual Tour where the Docent refers to the use of a Talking Drum by the Bimoba people of Northeastern Ghana:

««»»

Gwen (The Docent speaking to the children that have entered the Museum)

Hello, are you ready to go to Africa? Just follow me…

The Bimoba live in Northeastern Ghana, in West Africa, and there are about 120,000 speakers of the Bimoba language. The Bimoba chief is a very important person.  To become a chief, he must be born into the Bimoba royal family, be popular or wealthy, be married and have at least one child, and he must not have been a criminal, be scarred or disabled in any way.

Ruben (student)

That’s not nice.  I mean if someone had a bad leg or something and couldn’t be king.

Gwen (Docent)

Well, to our of way of looking at the world, you might be right, but we must remember that different cultures have different ways than ours. One main difference in the Bimoba culture is that a chief does not speak directly to his people, nor does he speak loudly.  He speaks to a person called a “linguist”, who speaks loudly on his behalf, refining what he has said.  To speak to a chief, a person addresses the linguist, who is highly regarded because he intercedes between the chief and the people.

(The Docent picks up a drum.)

Gwen (CONT)

This is the “Talking Drum”:  The Bimoba can change the pitch by squeezing the strings that run down the side of the drum.  The chief or the chief’s linguist uses this type of drum to announce the arrival of visitors to the village or when the chief wishes to call a special meeting.

 ««»»

Click on the picture to hear an example of a Talking Drum

Take a moment to hear more of the International Museum of Cultures’ Virtual Field Trip by clicking here. If you want more information about using the Museum’s Virtual Fielp Trip, contact us at  972-708-7406 or send us an email at info@internationalmuseumofcultures.org.

Virtual Museum Tour of the Languages and People of Mexico

The exhibit at the International Museum of Cultures provides an overview of the richness and diversity of languages in Mexico today. It highlights samples of the more than 150 native languages still spoken there. In addition, the displays focus on some social implications of this diversity of languages within the national life of Mexico.

Languages and People of Mexico

In the IMC Electronic Field Trip, this exhibit is brought to life. A teacher can bring her class through this and other exhibits without having to leave the classroom. Below is a sample of the dialogue in the Museum’s Virtual Tour:

DOCENT: “You can see that most of the non-Spanish speakers live in the southern part of Mexico.  Some of the languages are tonal which means that the only difference between “I’m going, and I’m not going” may be the tone of your voice. Likewise, some are also nasal, and you must say a vowel through your nose. If you don’t, you might say “chili pepper”, like I did when you really wanted to say “horse’s tail”!”

STUDENT: “That could be a problem if you were trying to make chili and put a horse’s tail in the pot.”

DOCENT: “You’re right. Languages, to some extent, are partially a result of need. Mixtec dialects can have as many as 20 different words for corn, like the Eskimos have many words for snow: soft snow, slushy snow, icy snow, etc.  The Tzeltales in the state of Chiapas have 25 verbs for “carry”, depending on HOW you are going to carry something: on your back, over your shoulder, in a pocket, in your hand, etc. ”

View the promotional video of the eField Trip that visits Mexico, South America, Africa, and Papua New Guinea. Learn more by visiting International Museum of Cultures or call us at (972) 708-7406.

People of the Tiger – the Yi of China

The International Museum of Cultures explores the myths of different peoples, such as the Yi peoples of China.

The Yi peoples of China are associated with the Tiger Spirit, a principal spirit of their folklore.  The Yi tiger myth tells of a Tiger Spirit who was god of the universe.  He came to earth one day, and a strong wind caused him to fall against a rock and die.  His head became the East, his hind parts the West, one paw became the North, and the other paw became the South.  The tiger’s flesh became the plants, and a hair of his mustache became buckwheat.

The majority of Chinese today are the Han nationality, numbering over 600 million.  The Yi are one of 57 nationalities in China, and our exhibit features some 500,000 of the Yi, known as the Central (or Chuxiong [chew-showng]) Yi.

The Central Yi live in Yunnan Province in Chuxiong Prefecture  – most preferring to live in the mountainous areas, away from the big cities.

This Yi exhibit at the museum features photos of the region and information on their farming industry, home life, art, music, dress and dance.

If you have more information on the Yi peoples of China, please share them with us.