The second time around

We went back for a second look. Our first visit to Vancouver, four years ago, we enjoyed exploring its urban center.

The view from our 2011 stay in the heart of Vancouver, B.C.

The view from our 2011 stay in the heart of Vancouver, B.C.

This second visit to Vancouver offered so many opportunities of places to go, things to see, tasty food to eat… but, with only a few days to visit, we needed to narrow our choices. We asked ourselves, “How much can we realistically pack in and still drive away feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to move on?” Our answer narrowed our options down to one – and only one – place to see in the city.

Our choice: the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. We were in the city on Sunday and Monday and decided to save the museum for Monday (hoping for fewer people), so we stepped outside our cute little rental studio on a gorgeous, perfect weather Sunday morning to take a relaxing walk.

We turned north, walked just one block to the water’s edge, and continued along the shore for a long way.

The nearby Jericho Beach offered a view of the high-rise area where we’d stayed on our first visit.  This, our second stay, was in the neighborhood of Kitsalano, with quaint shops and houses strung along the inlet.

The nearby Jericho Beach offered a view of the high-rise area where we’d stayed on our first visit.  This, our second stay, was in the neighborhood of Kitsalano, with quaint shops and houses strung along the inlet.

After that relaxing day of walking, we were more than ready to head for the museum the next morning.

The first display we saw – and one of the most interesting to us: “ehhwe’p syuth (To Share History)” by John Marston, b. 1978, Coast Salish. The sign by the work said that the artist had traveled in 2006 at the age of 28 to Papua, New Guinea and worked with a master carver named Teddy Balangu. Upon his return, Marston carved this panel.

The first display we saw – and one of the most interesting to us: “ehhwe’p syuth (To Share History)” by John Marston, b. 1978, Coast Salish. The sign by the work said that the artist had traveled in 2006 at the age of 28 to Papua, New Guinea and worked with a master carver named Teddy Balangu. Upon his return, Marston carved this panel.

Light fills the museum, and one of its finest spaces was designed to mimic the style of a First Nations’ pole building. Huge totems rose to great heights in the airy space.

Kwakwaka’wakw ancestor figure with slaves holding up a ceremonial bench, carved from red cedar, was originally placed in front of a Bighouse on northern Vancouver Island, owned by Tza’kius. The sign noted that capturing slaves had been discontinued by 1900, but their depiction in the totem represented the great wealth of Tza’kius and his decendants.

Kwakwaka’wakw ancestor figure with slaves holding up a ceremonial bench, carved from red cedar, was originally placed in front of a Bighouse on northern Vancouver Island, owned by Tza’kius. The sign noted that capturing slaves had been discontinued by 1900, but their depiction in the totem represented the great wealth of Tza’kius and his decendants.

We joined an excellent free tour of the museum. Kay, our knowledgeable guide, saved one of the most important works of the museum for the end.

“The Raven and the First Men” by Bill Reid, 1920-1998, Haida Nation 

“The Raven and the First Men” by Bill Reid, 1920-1998, Haida Nation  The interpretive sign told the storyof how the first men came to be, that started with the curious raven.  “A flash of white light caught his eye and there, right at his feet, half buried in the sand, was a gigantic clamshell.  He looked more closely and saw that the shell was full of little creatures cowering in terror in his enormous shadow.  …He coaxed and cajoled and coerced them to come out and play…  These little dwellers were the original Haidas, the first humans.”

All else in Vancouver would have to wait for another visit. Were we disappointed at restricting ourselves to only one site, a museum? Not really. This second visit to Vancouver had been a different visit and just as good as our first. We felt relaxed, refreshed, and ready to move on south as we left and headed south.

 

 

August 2015

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Canada - Vancouver and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The second time around

  1. icelandpenny says:

    To my embarrassment, I have never visited this museum. Thanks for taking me there with you, and strengthening my resolve to visit it the next time I’m in the city.

  2. Love the pace of your travels!

  3. plaidcamper says:

    That’s a beautiful Bill Reid sculpture…

  4. Jack Malinowski says:

    Splendid series of photos/ vignettes on your time in and around Vancouver/Victoria. Bravo!
    Jack M.

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