Screenshot of iPINCH website
I’ve posted a couple of times (1, 2) on the proposed, callous use of a seated human figure bowl as a reality TV show prop. Well, worse than a prop, since the idea is to auction off this sensitive cultural property in pursuit of TV ratings and the advertizing dollars which follow. It’s sort of unfathomably insensitive and stupid, doubly maddening since it’s the CBC, a crown corporation and an entity which really should know better.
Anyway, there’s an interesting and insightful essay by Emily Benson on the IPinCH blog which adds a lot of thoughtful commentary and context for this issue:
The example of the seated human figure bowl and media discussions around it, reflect a broader set of questions and issues related to historical and contemporary relations between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada. This case reflects the importance of challenging both public and anthropological conceptions regarding the treatment of Indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage. Explicitly recognizing the relationship of descendant communities to their ancestral /sacred sites and objects, and their rights regarding their cultural heritage, are fundamental to doing so. Key to shifting these perspectives are recognizing the significance of cultural heritage sites and objects to living peoples, and their rights to make decisions regarding their heritage.
It’s part of IPinCH‘s* occasional series “Appropriation of the Month” – most entries are not about the NW Coast but nonetheless many readers here will find a lot of food for thought over there. I particularly encourage you to go over and leave some comments on the bowl issue!
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, First Nations, history, Northwest Coast
Tagged appropriation, CBC, ethics, four rooms, iPinch, Reality TV, SFU, Stone Bowls
Screenshot from Times-Colonist of Qualicum bowl which may be subjected to reality TV auction by CBC. Click to enlarge.
The Times-Colonist has another article (PDF) on the seated human figure bowl which may go up for auction as part of a crass CBC reality TV show. The new article has some good information about the bowl from Grant Keddie and reactions from the B.C. Archaeology Branch and the CBC. Thanks to twoeyes for posting this article in comments in the prior post; I thought it needed a new entry of its own.
The bowl was apparently found in Qualicum Beach in 1988, and is known to the Royal BC Museum – it has been photographed by them (see screenshot above). I’m not sure if there has been any publications about this bowl, if the Qualicum First Nation knew about it before this mini-controversy, or what has been said to the owner about the importance of the item. The Times-Colonist does have some interesting quotes from those involved.
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, First Nations, Northwest Coast, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island
Tagged Archaeology, Archaeology Branch, CBC, Qualicum, RBCM, Reality TV, repatriation, Royal BC Museum, Stone Bowls, TV