Proposal Title

SESSION 2.2: The James Hepburn Northwest Coast Collection at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

2-5-2019 1:45 PM

End Date

2-5-2019 3:15 PM

Abstract

This presentation introduces the James Hepburn Northwest Coast collection held at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, England. James Hepburn (1811-1869) was a naturalist and collector based in Victoria and San Francisco who undertook ethnographic collecting on the HMS Devastation at Sitka, Fort Simpson and Metlakatla during Autumn 1862. The 1860s were a period of intense cultural change on the Northwest Coast with an influx of newcomers, introduced infectious diseases and an increasing missionary presence. The Tsimshian of Metlakatla and Fort Simpson, and the missionary William Duncan are central to this story. During the 1862 smallpox epidemic, Duncan encouraged the Tsimshian to relocate their community and relinquish items connected to their sacred histories and ceremonies that were incompatible with Christian values. William Duncan sold some of these items to James Hepburn which became part of the founding collections at MAA, and their first from the Northwest Coast. This collection is one of the earliest to emerge from Metlakatla and provides a compelling account of missionary encounters and cultural change. The Hepburn collection includes masks, soul catchers, clappers, dishes and items of personal adornment.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 2nd, 1:45 PM May 2nd, 3:15 PM

SESSION 2.2: The James Hepburn Northwest Coast Collection at the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

IB 1010

This presentation introduces the James Hepburn Northwest Coast collection held at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, England. James Hepburn (1811-1869) was a naturalist and collector based in Victoria and San Francisco who undertook ethnographic collecting on the HMS Devastation at Sitka, Fort Simpson and Metlakatla during Autumn 1862. The 1860s were a period of intense cultural change on the Northwest Coast with an influx of newcomers, introduced infectious diseases and an increasing missionary presence. The Tsimshian of Metlakatla and Fort Simpson, and the missionary William Duncan are central to this story. During the 1862 smallpox epidemic, Duncan encouraged the Tsimshian to relocate their community and relinquish items connected to their sacred histories and ceremonies that were incompatible with Christian values. William Duncan sold some of these items to James Hepburn which became part of the founding collections at MAA, and their first from the Northwest Coast. This collection is one of the earliest to emerge from Metlakatla and provides a compelling account of missionary encounters and cultural change. The Hepburn collection includes masks, soul catchers, clappers, dishes and items of personal adornment.