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Additions to British Museum Collections

    Naturevolume 134page807 (1934) | Download Citation



    SEVERAL interesting additions to the archaeological and ethnographical collections of the British Museum have been made recently. Among them is a fine totem pole from the Nass River, British Columbia, which is figured and described in the British Museum Quarterly, 9, No. 1. The pole was acquired by pur chase through Dr. Marius Barbeau, who has collected the legends attached to it. It is about 25 ft. high and originally was surmounted by an eagle, now lost. The figures represented from the top downwards are the ‘Geebelk’, a fabulous monster with wings and human face, but with a beak instead of a nose, an eagle, a large beaver with a small one on its back, and a sea-monster known as ‘the man underneath’. From information obtained locally, this appears to be one of the oldest totem poles on the Nass and one of the finest. Another notable addition to the De partment of Ethnography is a series of ancient Peruvian textiles from pre-Spanish cemeteries at Nasca, presented by Mr. Henry van den Bergh. They are excellent examples of the polychrome weaving practised by the coastal tribes, the colours being red, yellow, green and black. They may be dated roughly as belonging to the period 200 B.C. to 200 A.D. Adequate examples of the textile art of this area and period had not previously been acquired by the Museum.

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