Claude Lévi-Strauss : walk amongst the objects

For the centenary of the doyen of French cultural and social anthropology, otherwise known as structuralism, 21 pieces amongst the objects brought by Claude Lévi-Strauss from his expedition to South America between 1935 and 1939 have been chosen from the collections of the Musée du Quai Branly. They emphasize the sensitive and impassioned approach that this perceptive observer has always had on the Amerindian world and, in particular, the  Amazonian culture.

  • Frontal piece of ceremonial headdress

    Frontal piece of ceremonial headdress

  • Peaked helm

    Peaked helm

  • Frontal mask

    Frontal mask

  • Transformation mask

    Transformation mask

  • Shaman statue

    Shaman statue

  • Doll


  • Figurine


  • Dancing mask

    Dancing mask

  • Celebration seat

    Celebration seat

  • Flute


  • Rhomb


  • Labial Perforator

    Labial Perforator

  • Hairpin


  • Diadem


  • Ear pendant

    Ear pendant

  • Ear pendant

    Ear pendant

  • Pair of wrist ribbons

    Pair of wrist ribbons

  • Pendant


  • Necklace


  • Crown


  • Ceremonial pendant

    Ceremonial pendant

Frontal piece of ceremonial headdress

Frontal piece of ceremonial headdress

British Columbia, Canada, Tsimshian population, Carved wood, green mother-of-pearl, 22 X 17.5 cm, Former collection of Claude Lévi-Strauss, 70.2002.31.1

Central element of this frontal headdress, this eleborate and ancient piece was intended for the clan chief, probably during ceremonies connected with potlatch, the huge trading systems practised by the North American Indians.It can be seen from this headgear that the personage would be the legendary hero, Aitl, after his capture by a seafaring monster.