Preserving and Revitalising 昆曲 (Kunqu Opera) on the World Stage
昆曲 (Kunqu Opera) one of the oldest remaining forms of Chinese opera, was listed on the ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity‘ by UNESCO in 2004. It has acted as a representative of traditional Chinese culture and national treasure, receiving attention both nationally in China and around the world. In general academic…
Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year? – Celebrating in Harmony
The term ‘Chinese New Year’ and ‘Lunar New Year’ are interrelated and often spark controversies. The festival itself is celebrated across east and southeast Asia. It is a shared intangible cultural heritage, often victim to claims of origin and authenticity. Can museums and the collections in their care provide a forum to negotiate these claims?
‘Looks more like a dog’. Rabbits or Not Rabbits at MAA
By Jimena Lobo Guerrero Arenas and Mark Elliott. To mark the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year and the Year of the Water Rabbit, we did the obvious thing and looked for rabbits in the collections at MAA. But we didn’t find what we thought we would.
More than Music
4 minute read By Mark Elliott There is music in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Well, there is and there isn’t. Museums have traditionally acquired, exhibited and interpreted artefacts: tangible things. Intangible aspects of human cultural life and wellbeing such as music don’t generally get collected except in their material manifestations as musical instruments.…
The Buddha, the War God and the Pirate King
By Ashleigh Griffin While recataloguing the Asian collections at MAA, I came across a number of historic inaccuracies as well as stories of warfare and plunder hinted at in the documentation around the objects. This is the tale of an artefact that brought both of these together, which highlights important issues facing collections of ethnography,…