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Image thumbnail of Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

Source

This mask worn by boys during initiation rituals in Papua New Guinea is made of painted bark cloth and canvas stretched over a cane frame. The long fiber fringe adds movement to the mask, which is worn during dances and other secret rituals that that comprise boyhood initiation rites. These rituals often involve disguises, as initiates endure trials, receive food and drink from villagers, and... Read More »

Huejotzingo Codex of 1531

Teaching

Students in most history classes expect to see images in their textbooks, at least as illustrations to liven up pages of text. They do not always look at those images, much less analyze them, historically. Our students think of themselves as visual experts because of the many film, television, and digital images they see each day. In my classroom, I use images to build bridges between their... Read More »

Thumbnail image shows an ruins of an ancient temple with 6 tiers

A PreColumbian Portfolio: An Archive of Photographs

Review
Each database record includes a caption, a brief (about 20-word) description, and information on the culture associated with the artifact, such as Maya, Olmec, or Zapotec.
Image from the collection titled "Making Pottery at Kwilu" taken by Robert E. Smith in the 1960s.  It shows a woman kneeling over a clay bowl she is sculpting with her hands.

Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent

Review
By using the search filters effectively, teachers can have students compare and contrast various images of worship, schooling, work, and landscapes to highlight the vast cultural and ecological diversity of Africa.
Thumbnail image of statue

Ancient Greek Adolescent Girls at Play

Source

This small (5.5 inches high) terracotta sculpture was made in Greek southern Italy in the late fourth century BCE. It depicts two adolescent girls playing the game of "knucklebones" (astragaloi in Greek). The game was usually played like the modern game of "jacks": one threw the knucklebones in the air and attempted to catch as many as possible. They were also used like modern "dice." Each of... Read More »

Ancient Greek Girl Athlete

Source

This unusual bronze figurine of a female runner was possibly made in or near Sparta, Greece, between 520-500 BCE. Ancient Sparta was the only Greek city-state that provided girls with public schooling including physical education. Girls were praised for their swiftness and likened to prized racehorses in choral songs (called partheneia) sung by girls' choruses in Sparta and elsewhere. Spartan... Read More »

Thumbnail of sheep shaped cake mold

Animal Baking Mold

Source

This hollow cast iron container is a baking mold used for shaping bread or cake for children, according to archaeologists. It was excavated with a similar elephant mold. The mold is from the excavation of Hallado en al-Fudyan in Jordan, dated to the 8th century CE, during the Umayyad Islamic period. The mold is 17 cm high, 16.5 cm wide, and 6 cm deep (6.7 x 6.5 x 2.4 inches). The two hinges... Read More »

Thumbnail image of Aztec Cradleboard Figurine and Drawing

Aztec Cradleboard Figurine and Drawing

Source

The ceramic figurine of an infant in a cradle (also called a cradleboard) was created by the Nahua, or Aztec people of Mexico, between 1350 and 1521 CE. It shows how infants were kept bound in a cradle or carried on a cradleboard, a practice that was common among the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The figurine also shows how the baby would have been bound or swaddled in the cradle. The... Read More »

Barbie Turns 21 magazine article

Barbie Turns 21

Source

Barbie—who is today the most famous doll in the world—was based on Lilli, a sexy and sassy German doll first produced in 1955. Co-founder of Mattel Inc., Ruth Hander transformed the Teutonic doll from floozy to fashion queen for American girls like her daughter, Barbara, after whom the doll was named. In all other ways, Barbie’s shapely body was nearly indistinguishable from Lilli’s pleasing... Read More »

Berlin Wall Memorial at the Baker Institute (Rice University)

Source

In 2000, 11 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rice University installed a section of the wall as a permanent part of the Baker Institute. Speaking at the opening ceremony for this monument, Rice University President Malcolm Gillis noted that the remnants of the Berlin Wall serve to remind us that no structure is capable of confining "the human mind and the human spirit in its quest for... Read More »

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