Image: Retablo (detail), 1994, Peru, Wood, mixed media. Collection Mingei International Museum. Museum Purchase. Photo by Lynton Gardiner. 1995-09-001.

On View

Sep 10, 2009 - Jun 30, 2010

Curated By

Rob Sidner

The exhibition focused on the beauty of objects used for special familial, tribal and community events in traditional cultures: birth, childhood, initiation, marriage, death and festivals and in various religious expressions among the world’s peoples: Shamanism, Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.

At the center of the exhibition were a great variety of objects from many cultures that arise from tribal, societal and civic rituals and ceremonies. Among them were important masks and dance drums and rattles from Africa, feathered festival headdresses from Brazil, a set of ceremonial tools, an Indonesian ceremonial stone chair and an exquisite ceremonial dagger of carved wood and worked metal.

The diverse objects gathered for the exhibition were vital creative expressions from many cultures that have been used for rites and ceremonies. Their beauty and power can delight, intrigue and awe. These objects invited viewers to look with fresh eyes at their daily routines; at the major and minor ceremonies and rituals in their lives; and at the objects they use for them.

The exhibition was enhanced by CHA NO YU—The Japanese Tea Ceremony, a program presented in collaboration with The Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana on Saturday, October 10, 2009. RHYTHMS OF BRAZIL, a program from the World Beat Center, took place on Saturday, November 14, 2009 and a FOLK ART STUDIO at which participants created handmade gifts including Polish-style paper cuts, Inuit inspired block prints and yarn paintings in the Huichol manner, was held on Saturday, December 12, 2009. RITE AND RITUAL—A Cinematic Journey on Saturday, January 9, 2010 entertained while illustrating ceremonies from other cultures in Memoirs of a Geisha, Whale Rider and Kundun. Participants in a RETABLO-MAKING WORKSHOP on Saturday, February 13, 2010 created their own triptychs using traditional and contemporary materials. An examination of why people use music to enhance important events featured ethnomusicologist Kevin Delgado on Saturday, March 13, 2010. On Saturday, April 10, a Victorian Talk and Tea examined the social rites of Victorian culture. Palomar College professor and anthropologist Steven Crouthamel presented THE POWER OF SHAMANS on Saturday, May 8. At Crafting Siapo, a workshop on Saturday, June 12, third generation siapo maker Tupito Gadalla led participants in making their own interpretations of this elaborate and ancient Samoan art form.