After putting the finishing touches on new installations, the MU Museum of Anthropology will reopen to the public Saturday.
The museum focuses on the ethnography of North America, with specific exhibits on Missouri archaeology and human behavior around the world. The aim is to broaden the cultural understanding of people, said Amanda Harrison, assistant curator of the exhibition.
The museum has been closed for three years after being moved out of Swallow Hall on Francis Quadrangle. Harrison said she’s excited for the museum to be more visible to not only the university, but also the Columbia community.
“We’re more of a science museum, as opposed to the Museum of Art and Archaeology, which is an art museum,” she said.
The two sister institutions are located next to each other in the second floor of a building at Mizzou North off Business Loop 70 West.
The representatives of the Osage Nation were invited to bless the space last week. According to Native American tradition, blessing is necessary for any space where there are sacred and important materials, Harrison said.
In the middle of the exhibition room is an art piece, “Spring Maiden,” that was gifted by the MU Department of Anthropology to celebrate the museum’s opening.
“She was a storyteller,” Harrison said. “We’re coming here. We’re telling the stories of cultures and people. She was a beautiful way to represent what our museum is all about.”
One part of the opening exhibition is the Kachinas collection. Kachinas were originally made as sacred dolls to teach children, especially girls, about the spirit world and nature gods. They still hold a great deal of significance to the Hopi people, Harrison said.
“It’s not only looking into the importance of the art form, but looking into the importance of the cultural expression that they’re sharing with us,” she…