The University Museum of New Mexico State University will host an opening reception for two new exhibits from 6-8 PM on Friday, February 21, 2014. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. The University Museum of NMSU is located in Kent Hall on the NMSU campus in Las Cruces, at the intersection of University Avenue and Solano Drive. Other than the evening of the opening reception, the museum’s hours are 12 noon to 4 PM, Tuesdays through Saturdays (excluding holidays). For information, call 575 646-5161.
“The Skull Beneath the Skin: Forensic Anthropology of the Human Cranium” takes visitors on a journey of discovery through the world of human osteology. Dozens of human crania reveal the affects of sex, violence, disease, age, developmental variation, ancestry, and cultural practices. “The Skull Beneath the Skin” includes a Spanish conquistador from the late 1600s of northern New Mexico who has a metal ax embedded in his skull, a variety of skulls showing the effects of syphilis, shotgun wounds, and being hit by an 18-wheeler truck, and an array of crania of people of African, Asian, Australian Aboriginal, European, and Mexican-American descent. Visitors will have the opportunity to identify the sex and ancestry of ‘mystery skulls’ displayed in the exhibit.
“Dress Code: Cultural Expression through Printed Cloth of East Africa” explores the vibrant colors and intriguing phrases printed on over 50 kanga, women’s cloth garments from Kenya and Tanzania which express feelings that might otherwise be suppressed. Traditional bits of wisdom in the form of proverbs are traditionally printed on kanga. For example, one kanga says “Do not blame others for your own mistakes” while another states that “Every bird must fly with its own pair of wings”. Several of the kanga displayed in the “Dress Code” exhibit, however, are brightly colorful garments imprinted with phrases that relate to jealous interactions between women, such as “A gossiper never gets a vacation”, “When you hate me, it only makes my hatred grow”, and “A cigarette picked up from the street does not taste sweet” (a taunt directed at a female rival).
These two new exhibits complement two exhibits that have been held over from Fall 2013 due to popular demand: “Maria Martinez and the Pottery of San Ildefonso Pueblo” and “Memories of Pie Town: Rural New Mexico During the Great Depression.”
Looking for something fun to do with your family on the weekend? The University Museum of NMSU hosts family workshops from 1:00 – 2:30 PM on several Saturdays during the Spring 2014 semester. Come join us for educational family activities reflecting our current exhibits. Workshops are free and open to the public. Supplies are limited and workshops are on a first come first served basis. Registration is not required unless you plan to bring eight or more people.
Feb. 22: Kanga – design an East African textile.
March 1: Pasta Skeleton – make a skeleton using dried pasta.
March 8: Painted Bottles – paint a beautiful design on a glass bottle.
March 15: Osteology Day – learn how to determine the sex and stature of a skeleton.
April 5: Cascarones – make cascarones using egg shells and tissue paper.
April 19: Faberge Eggs – decorate your own version of a Faberge egg.
April 26: Bird Feeders – make bird feeders from pine cones.
May 3: Paper Kites – make your own kite.
On Saturday, April 12 the University Museum will serve as the host venue for the finale of American Indian Week activities at NMSU. Enjoy the opportunity to purchase delicious Indian fry bread as well as the chance to select an exquisite piece of silver and turquoise jewelry, pottery, or another item directly from dozens of Native American artists.