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.
British Columbia, Canada, Nisga'a population, Wood, graphite, paint, haliotis fragments, shell opercula, 16 X 39 cm, Former collections of Heye Foundation in New York and Claude Lévi-Strauss, 71.1951.35.3
This headdress mask without doubt represents a canibal dragonfly. Worn during secret ceremonies, it is adorned with a border of human heads that are found in relief on the surface of the beak. The finesse of execution and the richness of materials demonstrates the importance of such a piece considered as a masterpiece of British Columbia art.