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Linfield anthropology museum displays Arctic history

Inuit Doll at Linfield Anthropology MuseumAn exhibit featuring historical Arctic items, “Expressions of Arctic Traditions,” will kick off with an opening reception Thursday, Feb. 16, at noon in the foyer of Walker Hall at Linfield College. The exhibit will run through May at the Linfield College Anthropology Museum.

In the Inuktitut language, “to make poetry” is the same as “to breathe,” and art and life are interchangeable. Curated by Keni Sturgeon, adjunct professor of sociology and anthropology at Linfield, with objects on loan from the Jensen Arctic Museum, “Expressions of Arctic Traditions” presents objects from the Arctic dating from pre-contact to present day. The objects represent three of the branches of Arctic people: the Inuit of Canada and Greenland, the Yup’ik of Southern Alaska and the Inupiat of Northern Alaska. The pieces are drawn from some of the collections donated to the Jensen Arctic Museum over the years, and several come from Gerald McCray Sr., a McMinnville resident.

The works on display reveal the connectedness between the human and animal worlds – or rather, humans’ dependence on animals, which is the basis of life in the Arctic – as well as the interconnection between people and the Arctic environment. Objects include Yup’ik masks, fur parkas, stone and ivory carvings, baskets, prints and photography.

The mission of the Linfield Anthropology Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit objects of ethnographic and cultural importance. These tenets are to provide Linfield students with opportunities for training and practice within the field of museum work; to educate and engage the Linfield community and the general public through student-prepared exhibits; and facilitate an understanding of world cultures.

The museum is free and open to the public. Museum hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Sturgeon at ksturge@linfield.edu or kenis@missionmill.org.