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
Screen shot of human seated figure bowl on boardroom table. Is this a “wild and wacky [sic] object”? Source: Times Colonist.
This short piece
) in the Times Colonist caught my eye, and not in a good way. First, a private citizen apparently owns a large human seated figure bowl, an artifact of immense cultural significance, and is apparently willing to enter a process leading to its sale. That’s bad news and potentially extremely inflammatory, especially in the context of the CBC reality T.V, show “Four Rooms
: “four rooms. four buyers. four chances to make a fortune”).
It’s crass and disrespectful to treat these objects like this. The picture above of one casually manhandled on a boardroom table, apparent scrape marks down its side, is angry-making! These objects routinely have handling, viewing, and storage restrictions in museums and at cultural centres.
Posted in anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, First Nations, Northwest Coast
Tagged Archaeology, art, auctions, Bowls, CBC, First Nations, repatriation, sculpture, Stone Bowls, television
Stone Bowls in bedrock at Willows Beach, Victoria. Photo courtesy of Beth Weathers.
Investigation into Intertidal Bedrock Bowls at Willows Beach, Victoria.
Tuesday Sept 18, 2012, 7:30 pm Pacific Forestry Centre,
506 West Burnside Road. map
Free and Open to the Public
Overview (via ASBC): In 2009, Beth Weathers was informed by a local resident that there were some “Indian Bowls” in a bedrock outcrop at Willows Beach in the Oak Bay area of Victoria. Upon investigation, Beth identified and recorded 27 bowls that have been ground into one granite outcrop near the mouth of Bowker Creek. These bowls, and others like them, will eventually became the topic of her MA thesis. Beth will present information and results to date from her studies into these fascinating ancient features.
Bio: Beth Weathers has worked as a professional archaeologist for over a decade, first in Cultural Resource Management consulting, then at the British Columbia Archaeology Branch, where she is still employed. She was also instructor and TA for two semesters at UVic during her spare time.
Note: At the completion of Beth’s presentation a brief period will be devoted to the Annual General Meeting business.
For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: While we’re talking public talks, where is the Archaeology Forum going to be this year?