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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The moai at Smithsonian's natural history museum.
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The moai at Smithsonian's natural history museum.
tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2006-01-17 2:59 pm   Permalink

Im sorry I don't remember exactly where the head was, but it was defintiely there outside one of the museums, facing the big long parky lawn thingy I think. I saw so much stuff in 4 days that the locations kinda blur together.
*Im sure theres a fancy name for that but danged if I can recall.


 
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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-01-18 5:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-17 14:59, tikifish wrote:
Im sorry I don't remember exactly where the head was, but it was defintiely there outside one of the museums, facing the big long parky lawn thingy I think. I saw so much stuff in 4 days that the locations kinda blur together.
*Im sure theres a fancy name for that but danged if I can recall.



OK, I went to the Smithsonian museum again today, and here's an update.

The green strip of lawn is called the National Mall, according to the following source:
http://cityguide.aol.com/washington/entertainment/venue.adp?page=detailSummary&id=64246&layer=venues
(I previously thought the "National Mall" included the buildings surrounding the lawn, but it doesn't sound like that's the case.)

You were mostly right: that big stone head is still outside the museum, although it's on the north side (not facing the National Mall) and it's to the west of the north entrance. (That's why I didn't see it before--I haven't gone past the northwest part of the building for years.) I took a bunch of pictures of it for the heck of it, since we've been discussing it. I see why it was said to be "bogus" now: it's just a replica, not the real thing. It reminds me of those vine covered ruins on the Jungle Cruise. Anyway, here are some pics of the Olmec stone head, if anybody's interested:

http://www.simnia.com/tiki/NMNH/CH4/

At least I did one thing on time: I got some pics of the rai (Yap money stone) just days before they put a big box around it and started refurbishing it. It was all boxed over today:

http://www.simnia.com/tiki/NMNH/SOS/DC060118_039_NMNH_SOS_%5bWORK_IN_PROGRESS%5d.jpg

And I took a few more pics of the moai and added them to my folder mentioned earlier in this thread. Sorry for all the duplicate photos of signs, but those signs are difficult to photograph, and I was experimenting with different lighting and angles. None came out perfect.


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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-01-18 11:02 pm   Permalink

Any possibility the exhibit will reappear elsewhere, or is hidden away forever in the Smithsonian wherehouse?

 
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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2965
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2006-01-19 05:48 am   Permalink



who knows... i have no contact with the natural history people anymore.

one thing i will say from pure observation is that the museums seem to operate now less as repositories of knowledge and more as entertainment. therefore, trends and political correctness affect what is exhibited. one might posit that the perceived relevance of pacific cultures to the average tourist might be much weaker now than it was in the 1950's-60's. maybe if something happened in the pacific with the same 'newsworthiness' as hawaii's statehood in 1959, the museums would be scrambling to put the tapa cloth and bamboo back up.

but yeah, there are acres of artifacts crammed away both in the museums themselves and a warehouse facility out in maryland. there is a possibility this stuff could get stored away for a loooong time.

_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Johnny Dollar 2006-01-19 08:19 ]


 
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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-01-19 06:02 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-18 23:02, christiki295 wrote:
Any possibility the exhibit will reappear elsewhere, or is hidden away forever in the Smithsonian wherehouse?



I forgot to mention: I *think* I heard somewhere that the museum is obligated to extract and show visitors any items they wish, upon demand, because it is a public service, paid for by public taxes. But I don't remember if it was the museum that had that policy, or some other library/archive in DC. Still, it sounds right, and in this case, with so many people lamenting the demise of that exhibit, it would be worth checking on. I'll check on that the next time I'm up there, probably this weekend. I'll let everybody know.

(Like so many other government loopholes, they don't advertise that fact, for practical reasons. Kind of like when banks don't let you know that you could legally write a check on an eggshell, or that courts don't let you know that you're not obligated to vote guilty even if the evidence demands it, if you think the law itself is bad.)


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-01-19 11:53 pm   Permalink

Please do.

I did not see it when I did the collegiate summer on the hill. It was in my pre-tiki days, when I went to Tiki-Ti just because I liked the vibe & the exotic drinks. I would hate to think I missed possibly the only opportunity to see a real moai (in the US). Mahalo.


[ This Message was edited by: christiki295 2006-01-19 23:55 ]


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-01-23 11:52 pm   Permalink

I was at the Museum of Natural History (the Dinasour Museum) in LA last Sunday and I saw a Moai by the fountain. (Off the Jeferson parking lot).

Maybe the Gods are looking out for us, after all.


 
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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-01-24 10:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-23 23:52, christiki295 wrote:
I was at the Museum of Natural History (the Dinasour Museum) in LA last Sunday and I saw a Moai by the fountain. (Off the Jeferson parking lot).



Which fountain? Do you mean the Jefferson Memorial, or a street named Jefferson? I love getting out and taking photos, so I'd be happy to take lots of photographs of anything in the area that interests anybody. (At least until I can find a job.)

Here's an update on what I found out this past weekend when I asked at the Smithsonian museum's information desk... I was given two phone numbers, one for the Registrar, another for the Anthropology Collections Management. (The Pacific cultures exhibit falls under anthropology, right? That's what the employee thought.) The info desk said the Registrar was the best number to call, so I called the Registrar today, but they said that wasn't the best number to call. They gave me another number. That number suggested using the Internet and e-mail, which I did, and I e-mailed the person listed at the following URL:

http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/
Department of Anthropology
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
NMNH, MRC 112
Washington, DC 20013-7012

But I haven't received a response yet. I have two more numbers to call, and if they don't get back with me, I'll post all those phone numbers and e-mail addresses so you all can PESTER THEM UNTIL THEY COMPLY. Oh yes.

I also passed by a store called Artifactory while on the way to check out the new nearby science museum, but the store was closed. They had a lot of wooden carvings inside and in the windows, so I thought they might have tikis, too, but I called them today and they said they carry only African and Asian art. No luck. But your faithful D.C. Correspondent will keep trying to track down all those D.C. area tikis for you all.

The rai in the museum was not only still boxed over for refurbishment, but they're doing some kind of refurbishment all around it now on the first floor, all kinds of temporary walls and stuff boxed up all over. I added a few more incidental pics to my moai folder mentioned in my first post of this thread, if anybody's interested. And that's about it.


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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-01-26 12:08 am   Permalink

Keep at it, Mbonga!

The Natural History Museum to which I was refering is in Los Angeles, across from USC, on Jefferson Blvd.

On moai disappears on one coast and is sighted on the other.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2006-01-26 12:17 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-01-24 22:29, mbonga wrote:
That number suggested using the Internet and e-mail, which I did, and I e-mailed the person listed at the following URL:

http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/

But I haven't received a response yet. I have two more numbers to call, and if they don't get back with me, I'll post all those phone numbers and e-mail addresses so you all can PESTER THEM UNTIL THEY COMPLY. Oh yes.





I sent an email - help grease the wheels.


 
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Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2006-01-26 10:34 am   Permalink

Quote:


I forgot to mention: I *think* I heard somewhere that the museum is obligated to extract and show visitors any items they wish, upon demand, because it is a public service, paid for by public taxes. But I don't remember if it was the museum that had that policy, or some other library/archive in DC.



I doubt the Smithsonian would do this, but I know for a fact the National Archives in DC does. That's what they're there for. I spent a week there gathering WW2 images a few years ago. They have the most ridiculously arcane and non-obvious filing "system" I've ever seen. But if you have the time, it would be interesting to see if they have any good tiki stuff there. I wouldn't even know what categories to look under, but they have millions of documents and photos there, so it'd be interesting to see what you could dig up.


 
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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-01-26 10:54 am   Permalink

Quote:

But if you have the time, it would be interesting to see if they have any good tiki stuff there. I wouldn't even know what categories to look under, but they have millions of documents and photos there, so it'd be interesting to see what you could dig up.



You shouldn't have told me. I think you just killed several days of my spare time. OK, one more fun thing on my list of things to do up there on my next visit!


[ This Message was edited by: mbonga 2006-01-26 10:54 ]


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2965
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2006-01-26 10:58 am   Permalink

actually, what are the chances that there is not and anthroplogist on tc? speak up anthropologists, we need you to get the inside skinny on pacific stuff in the smithsonian!
_________________


 
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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-02-11 5:35 pm   Permalink

Update...

I made a trip to the national Archives building in D.C. about a week ago. The library entrance is on the north side, whereas the tourist entrance is on the south side. The library's information desk told me they have only lists of things like servicemen from World War II, so any photo archives would be in the College Park facility in Maryland. Since that is out of convenient reach for me, I'll abandon that avenue of research.

As for the Smithsonian archives people, after nobody responded to my e-mail after a week, I called one of the archives people and was told to send e-mail again with my request since their e-mail system was down the previous week. (Doesn't anything work anymore?) I did so over a week ago, and I called back Friday (yesterday), and still did not receive any response by either phone or e-mail. Since they aren't responding, it's time to declare war. So here is their contact info. I hope you all call and send e-mail, requesting photos or permission to photograph their removed Pacific Cultures exhibit:

Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/
Department of Anthropology
Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
NMNH, MRC 112
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Tel 202.633.1920
Fax 202.357.2208
anthropology@nmnh.si.edu

David Rosenthal
Assistant Collections Manager
Collections and Archives Program
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
Phone: 301-238-1318
Fax: 301-238-3109
http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/cm
RosenthalD@si.edu


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mbonga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-02-28 6:43 pm   Permalink

Update:

I received a response on February 17th from Adrienne Kaeppler of the Smithsonian. The main news was negative. The use of Smithsonian materials on websites is governed by licensing requests and agreements, which means you have to pay hefty fees to even put one of their photos online.

http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/cm/index.htm

However, they are systematically photographing the Hawaiian materials in their collections and those will be placed on the Smithsonian website, supposedly soon.

There was supposed to have been a "Hawaiian Treasures" exhibit at the Smithsonian last year, but I didn't hear about it so I missed it. Did anybody else here catch that and get photos of it?


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