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

Shaman statue

Shaman statue

British Columbia, Canada, Tsimshian population, Patina wood, pigment, hide, bear claws, fur, copper, dog teeth, 85 x 32 cm, Former collection of Claude Lévi-Strauss, 71.1951.35.2

This striking statue was covered with a clothing of painted skin and wore a leather diadem surmounted by bear claws on the top of its head. It was on André Breton's advice that Claude Lévi-Strauss acquired this curio intended for trade. It is, therefore, not a ritual sculpture but an object produced for sale as a "souvenir".