The American Museum of Natural History: Anthropology

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The American Museum of Natural History: Anthropology

The American Museum of Natural History has many exhibits that demonstrate many aspects of anthropology. The Museum is located on Central Park West between W81st and W77nd streets. The museum is an excellent place to open oneself to many new ideas and cultures. When looking through the museum the exhibits that are anthropological could enhance ones understanding of a culture. The museum is very big and a lot of time is needed to get the most out of it. The following exhibits that demonstrate many aspects of anthropology are located on the first, second and third floors. The first floor has American Northwest Coast Peoples, Eskimos, Human Biology and Evolution. The second floor had African Peoples, Asian Peoples, Mexico and Central American Peoples, and South American Peoples. Finally, the third floor had Primates, North American Eastern Woodlands And Plains Peoples, and Pacific Peoples. The museum also included many other interesting exhibits that did not have to do with anthropology like the Dinosaur Hall. All these exhibits in the museum had detailed information on each exhibit whether it was a big sculpture or a little skeleton. There was also films that could have been seen for a small price, but if one has the time it is very educational and worth seeing.

In the hall of Asian Peoples the most intriguing exhibits was the Chinese Wedding. It was very interesting to see how a different culture gets married. In this wedding the Chinese bride sits in this beautiful bridal chair from the groom's family that had carried her from her home. The bride now says her good-byes to her own family because in the Chinese culture she is now part of the grooms family. " Her impressive dowery, displayed by the procession on the road , gives prestige to her family as the beauty of the bridal chair gives prestige to the groom's." Prestige and honor are very important to the Chinese culture and during an important event such as a wedding it is not unusual to flaunt their prestige. To properly perform the dowry and the chair is a must. In tradition Chinese culture the bride must be covered by a veil and the groom never had seen her before he had removed the veil himself when she had arrived at his family's home.

In picture #1 this shows the background of a village in Shantung, in northeastern China. In this province is where Confucius was born and lived which also had a great amount of ancient tradition. " The early 20th century wedding chair, of wood, kingfisher feathers, copper wire, gilt and glass was probably made in southern China. The way the Chinese get married is very unusual to our western culture. This exhibit expresses to me that people are very different all over the world and their is much to explore about other cultures even an event such as a wedding.

One other exhibit seen in the Asian Peoples were an exhibit about dance. It was called the personality in Dance. The junkai people perform a special dance called the whirling dance. Dance in these peoples culture express a lot of different things. It evokes many moods, inspiration of belief, the hope and energy of young people, and the power of fear that could kill you. Society is very important to these people. Dance also by itself can express the values that a society should have that keep it binded together.

One educational exhibit is the Human Biology and Evolution Hall. This exhibit introduces the common biology of humans, and how we evolutionized. The biology of the humans were shown though holographic pictures. These pictures did show the whole body including the muscles and the bones. The evolution part of this exhibit was very interesting. " We humans often think of ourselvess as the culmination of a steady history of a evolutonary improvement. But this idea is wrong, for evolution is neither goal-oriented nor merely a matter of species gradual improving their adaptation to their...
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