Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Housed within the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, the Museum of Anthropology is a world-renowned museum and research centre dedicated to the documentation, study, and presentation of world arts and cultures. It notably specializes in showcasing the works of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, offering an unparalleled lens into the rich tapestry of indigenous culture in this region of Canada.

The museum is an architectural marvel, designed by Arthur Erickson, it mirrors the style of a Northwest Coast First Nations longhouse, and is nestled on a cliff with a panoramic view of the mountains and sea. This cultural landmark creates an instant impression, while simultaneously providing a fitting environment for the cultural treasures it houses.

Within its expansive space, the Museum of Anthropology holds one of the world’s most significant collections of Northwest Coast First Nations art. These include towering totem poles, intricately carved feast dishes, and masks vibrant with paint. The most famous of these is the iconic yellow cedar sculpture, The Raven and the First Men by Bill Reid, which depicts the moment humans are transformed from clams, caught in the powerful gaze of the Raven, a crucial figure in Northwest Coast mythology.

But the museum’s reach extends far beyond the local region. It hosts an array of exhibits from cultures around the world, encompassing over 535,000 archaeological objects, photographs, and documents. The Koerner Gallery within the museum houses a remarkable collection of European ceramics, and the Multiversity Galleries give visitors access to some 16,000 objects from around the world, accompanied by interactive features that enrich the experience.

The Museum of Anthropology is also a leading centre for education and research, providing learning opportunities for both the university students and the general public. The museum regularly hosts lectures, tours, and performances that offer profound insights into global and indigenous cultures, past and present.

Visitors to the museum can round out their experience with a visit to the MOA Shop, which offers indigenous art and crafts, and the MOA Café, where a menu inspired by indigenous culinary traditions awaits.

In conclusion, a visit to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC is an illuminating exploration of indigenous cultures, particularly of the Pacific Northwest. Through its substantial collections and thought-provoking exhibits, the museum offers a powerful and enriching encounter with the traditions, creativity, and spirit of the First Nations and the wider world.

The next neighbourhood to visit in Dr.Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden