Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quai Branly museum

Entry to museum and gardens

....they call it an ethnological museum and having seen some fascinating films that Monsieur had gleaned from their collection,  I wanted to have a look at the Quay Branly museum over by the Eiffel Tower.  

The museum gardens

Gardens on the way to entry

Punishment dolls, made for your enemies.  Good idea!

detail of Aborigine painting from Australia

Australian aborigine art
 Yes, the building is interesting; the garden gives an added dimension to the whole;  the collection is excellent,  the information expansive and the displays cunning.  

We learn that one tribe kills one from another tribe for revenge if someone from his own clan dies … even from old age.   

 We are not surprised at the quantity of peoples who revere and maintain relationships with the deceased....even so that widows or widowers cannot remarry in some cultures.  

 It's all about the ancestors…. we trace it from Asia to Africa and Australia.   And we see a lot of trances happening in many, many cultures, not just Vodoo ones.   Is the trance and the ability to visit with ancestors some ability we have lost?  I am not willing to close the argument that it is all a bunch of nonsense.   I would love to visit my ancestors!  

Mostly at the Quai Branly we see a lot of excellent art and craftsmanship.  Some of the poorest populations wear fabulous clothes, have fabulous jewelry and  household objects.  They perhaps mean more than our Prada, in that the wearer feels protected by his clothes and jewelry and objects. Maybe we are the primitive ones for not giving more meaning to our art. 

Now for the food.    The cafe is four or five minutes away, just far enough that I got chilled since I didn't go down to the deep recesses of the building in the far away "Vestiare" to retrieve my heavy coat.     I thought I could just pop over and have a quick lunch and come back and see more.    The architect did not think of this building in winter.  It was a mistake not to get my jacket.

Now to get a table….. even though some were available,  the restaurant staff was not able to bus a table and work efficiently so a long line formed at the door. (there was one good waitress, looked Egyptian, really savvy).  Some people were forced to stand in the cold as they were too polite to push the line further into the room.  To further annoy me, the food at the cafe is pretty bad and its expensive.  A burger with fries is twenty five euros the same as at my fancy hotel!  I ordered a fricasse of chicken and the meat in it I wouldn't give my cat.  

 My advice is that you eat first and then go. It seems to be the way the French do it because as I was leaving Sunday at three, a lot of families were just arriving.  Stalwart these Parisians , I must say for such a cold , dark day.  

But the museum is worth the visit , so go .  I just need for you to put on one of these masks for me,  

Kiaapaatt mask, 1934, Greenland

They are from Greenland made in 1934.  That will get me over the cafe experience.   I can't stay indignant with such ingenuity around.   

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