LETTER OF SEMINAR 87
 

ARTS & SOCIETIES

With the support of the Foundation of France and Olivier Berggruen
Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po

 
 

SEMINAR OF MARCH 2nd, 2016

THINGS IN THE MUSEUM
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Mélanie Roustan

Ancestors returned from the Past.
The Case of Māori Heads

 


Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Giry
Translator: David Ames Curtis

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EDITORIAL

 An ethnologist and anthropologist, Mélanie Roustan has investigated the hold objects have over people (her book was published in 2007). She offers us a thorough analysis of things that were sacred for reasons that differ greatly from what, once they have entered museums, defines them for us. The case of eighteenth-century tattooed and mummified Maori heads allows us to grasp how impossible it is to take them as mere objects.  Repatriated to New Zealand after a January 2012 ceremony, these heads have finally regained their original function while leaving behind them lasting traces that oblige us to reflect politically on the matter.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac


  ISSN 2268-3119    

Letter published with the support of the Foundation of France
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