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Nagaland Eighty Years Later


Sunday, April 28, 2013
4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Visiting curator and anthropologist Dr. Christian Schicklgruber and collector of Naga art, John D. Marshall give an illustrated talk in celebration of the newly opened exhibition, Fiercely Modern: Art of the Naga Warrior (April 26-September 16, 2013). The subject is the modern-day lives and material culture of the people of Nagaland.
This exciting exhibition at the Rubin Museum stems from one held in early 2012 at the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna, Austria. In preparation for this original exhibition, our speakers travelled to Nagaland in Northeastern India. Carrying with them numerous pictures of items collected for the Museum of Ethnology in the 1930s, they were able to learn a great deal about the historical artifacts of the museum’s collection, especially with regard to their religious context. On this trip they also purchased new objects such as textiles, kitchen utensils, and even rat traps – village items which had hardly changed in the interim eighty years since the Austrian collection was begun. By participating in festivals and church services in urban settings, they were also able to experience how the Naga people incorporate many of their indigenous traditions into their 21st century lives. With the help of photos taken during this expedition, our speakers will show the pristine landscapes and contemporary village life of Nagaland, presenting the reality of how an anthropologist and a former financial officer travelled, ate, and slept for one month in this remote region, and ultimately how they made friends with the hospitable Nagas.

About the Speakers

Dr. Christian Schicklgruber is curator at the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna, Austria. Additionally, he teaches at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Institute of Tibetology and Buddhist Science. His publications include Tower of Trongsa (Exhibitions International, 2008) and Bhutan (Wisdom Books, 1997).
John Marshall grew up in Sacramento, California and studied at UC Berkeley, the Free University of Berlin, and the University of Vienna, Austria. After retiring as the Senior Financial Officer at the International Atomic Energy Agency, he joined the Executive Committee of the “Friends of Ethnology Society.” Due to this organization’s close ties to the Museum of Ethnology, he acts today as a roving ambassador for the Museum throughout the world.