Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Museum Mystery: Where Do These Objects Come From?

Monday Museum Mysteries are back! In this biweekly feature, we unlock the vault and share hidden treasures from our collection. Try your hardest to answer the questions asked, and when you think you know, check out the bottom of the post for the correct answer! This semester, Monday Museum Mysteries is teaming up with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, so each post will focus in some way on women and their impact on the world! 

This week, we are visiting a tribal people far from Mississippi. These people live in matrilineal societies. Does anyone know what that means? It is a fancy way of saying that these people trace their family history back through the women's side of the family. Many other societies tend to use the male to create their family history. Do you have any idea where our mystery people might be from?

These people have a rich history, and these two objects are both significant parts of that history. Two of these pictures show combs. These combs were usually given to brides as a wedding gift from the groom, and women could own more than one, depending on their wealth, status or beauty.

These two combs were hand carved by
the same group of tribal people.
The hand carved details provide a date of creation for the comb.
Can you figure out how old this comb is?
This third picture depicts what our mystery people use as a fertility statue. Women carry these carved, wooden sculptures around on their back and believe that the statues will help them have a baby. The sculptures are created to show the ideals of a woman in this mystery society.

This small sculpture is called an Akua Ba after a
women (Akua) used one to help her have a ba, or "child."

Do you think you know who these people are? After you have thought long and hard about who our mystery people are, then scroll down to the end of the post to reveal the answer!

These objects were created by the Ashanti or Asante people of Africa. This tribal people lives in what is now the country of Ghana. The carved comb that dates back to 1944, making it 73 years old!

Did you guess the answer correctly? Be sure to check out our next Monday Museum Mystery for more exclusive looks into the University Museum's behind-the-scenes collection!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Museum Happenings: September!

This summer was our busiest yet, which groups in both classrooms everyday in June and July, August was a quieter time as we prepared for the busy semester ahead. We are excited to have our teaching team back and welcome new volunteers, and we just completed our first week of Fall 2017 Art Zone! Our Art Zone program filled up in record speeds, and we are excited to share the Museum with 77 children each week in this program! In addition, check out what we have coming up for September! 

September 1, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Drop in for Free Sketch Friday and sketch in the galleries! 

September 1, 10:30 a.m. Public Library Story Time- Find us at the Lafayette Oxford Public Library for Story Time as we read "Camille and the Sunflowers"

September 11, 18, 25- 8:30 a.m. Free RebelWell Yoga in the Galleries 

September 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Milkshake Mash-Up for Grades 6-12-  Older students are invited to participate in a fun art project where we mash up two artists in one project and sip on delicious milkshake (free). 

September 14, 3:45-4:30 p.m.- Mini Masters (Art for Ages 2-5) at the Powerhouse

September 28, 3:45-4:30 p.m.- Mini Masters (Art for Ages 2-5at the Museum

September 30, 10-noon (drop-in)- Modern Art Free Family Day! 

We will also welcome a number of University classes, weekly visits from Discovery Day School, Louisville Elementary, Scott Center, and visit homeschool groups, Leap Frog, and more! Our traveling trunks head to Rankin Elementary, Baldwyn Elementary, Verona Elementary, Della Davidson, and Oxford University School. 

If you have any questions or would like to book a visit or traveling trunk, please contact Emily McCauley at We hope to see you at the Museum soon!