Cambridge Science Festival

Monday 10 – Sunday 23 March 2014


The Science Festival aims to provide the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. There are events at various venues across the city, here at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology we will be hosting the following:

Monday 10 March, 11am-4pm
Collections Confidential
Whale Ivory and Chiefly Power – the Life of a Fijian Breastplate
A rare opportunity for a very close encounter with the outstanding breastplate that once adorned Tanoa Visawaga, a powerful Fijian chief in the mid-nineteenth century. This workshop combines insights from recent historical research and conservation analysis to explore the movement of people, objects and skills within Western Polynesia. The event will include a gallery talk by the Curator of MAA’s current exhibition Chief & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji.
£20 (£16 concessions). Booking essential.
Please contact Liz Haslemere at the museum on to book your place.
An outcome of the AHRC Fijian Art Research Project (2011-2014).

Breastplate MAA_Z 2730 (2)_sm

Breastplate of pearl shell and whale ivory, presented by Cakobau to Arthur Gordon, first Governor of Fiji 1875-80 (Z 2730)

Friday 14 March and Friday 21 March, 3pm-3.45pm
Tour of Chiefs & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji
Prebook only via the Cambridge Science Festival website

Saturday 15 March, 11am-4pm, Small Exam Hall, Arts School
Fijian barkcloth unwrapped
For the first time in a generation a large piece of barkcloth from the collection will be on display in Cambridge. Nearly 15 metres in length,  this barkcloth was part of a presentation by the Tui Cakau to Sir Arthur Gordon (the first British Governor of Fiji), as part of the conclusion of the Great Council of Chiefs Meeting on 12 December 1876. See the barkcloth and take part in drop-in family activities to explore the patterns. In association with MAA’s exhibition Chiefs & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji.

Z 30618(lr) Tui Cakau barkcloth (2)_smSmall section from an enormous barkcloth that formed the train of Tui Cakau (Z 30618)

Saturday 15 March, 12-12.45pm and 2-2.45pm
Skiing: understanding human creative power
Talk by Dr Lila Janik. The oldest depiction of skiing (in rock carvings from Northern Russia) is 5000 years old. This talk will focus on archaeological and neuroaesthetic interpretations of the rock carvings.

Thursday 20 March, 5.30-6.30pm
Powerful Patterns
Based on artefacts in MAA’s collection this talk by Dr Lucie Carreau gives an overview of the motifs adorning Fijian objects and explores the ways in which decorative patterns can help make objects powerful and efficacious.
Prebook only via the Cambridge Science Festival website

Saturday 22 March, 11am-4pm
Discover Fijian Patterns
Explore patterns in the Chiefs & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji exhibition.
Drop in, no need to book

Please visit the Cambridge Science Festival website for further information and booking details.

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