The American Museum of Natural History: Anthropology

The American Museum of Natural History has many exhibits that
demonstrate many aspects of anthropology. The Museum is located on Central Park
West between W81st and W77nd streets. The museum is an excellent place to open
oneself to many new ideas and cultures. When looking through the museum the
exhibits that are anthropological could enhance ones understanding of a culture.
The museum is very big and a lot of time is needed to get the most out of it.
The following exhibits that demonstrate many aspects of anthropology are located
on the first, second and third floors. The first floor has American Northwest
Coast Peoples, Eskimos, Human Biology and Evolution. The second floor had
African Peoples, Asian Peoples, Mexico and Central American Peoples, and South
American Peoples. Finally, the third floor had Primates, North American Eastern
Woodlands And Plains Peoples, and Pacific Peoples. The museum also included
many other interesting exhibits that did not have to do with anthropology like
the Dinosaur Hall. All these exhibits in the museum had detailed information on
each exhibit whether it was a big sculpture or a little skeleton. There was
also films that could have been seen for a small price, but if one has the time
it is very educational and worth seeing.
In the hall of Asian Peoples the most intriguing exhibits was the
Chinese Wedding. It was very interesting to see how a different culture gets
married. In this wedding the Chinese bride sits in this beautiful bridal chair
from the groom\'s family that had carried her from her home. The bride now says
her good-byes to her own family because in the Chinese culture she is now part
of the grooms family. " Her impressive dowery, displayed by the procession on
the road , gives prestige to her family as the beauty of the bridal chair gives
prestige to the groom\'s." Prestige and honor are very important to the Chinese
culture and during an important event such as a wedding it is not unusual to
flaunt their prestige. To properly perform the dowry and the chair is a must.
In tradition Chinese culture the bride must be covered by a veil and the groom
never had seen her before he had removed the veil himself when she had arrived
at his family\'s home.
In picture #1 this shows the background of a village in Shantung, in
northeastern China. In this province is where Confucius was born and lived
which also had a great amount of ancient tradition. " The early 20th century
wedding chair, of wood, kingfisher feathers, copper wire, gilt and glass was
probably made in southern China. The way the Chinese get married is very
unusual to our western culture. This exhibit expresses to me that people are
very different all over the world and their is much to explore about other
cultures even an event such as a wedding.
One other exhibit seen in the Asian Peoples were an exhibit about dance.
It was called the personality in Dance. The junkai people perform a special
dance called the whirling dance. Dance in these peoples culture express a lot
of different things. It evokes many moods, inspiration of belief, the hope and
energy of young people, and the power of fear that could kill you. Society is
very important to these people. Dance also by itself can express the values
that a society should have that keep it binded together.
One educational exhibit is the Human Biology and Evolution Hall. This
exhibit introduces the common biology of humans, and how we evolutionized. The
biology of the humans were shown though holographic pictures. These pictures did
show the whole body including the muscles and the bones. The evolution part of
this exhibit was very interesting. " We humans often think of ourselvess as the
culmination of a steady history of a evolutonary improvement. But this idea is
wrong, for evolution is neither goal-oriented nor merely a matter of species
gradual improving their adaptation to their environments. " This is an excelent
quote from the evolution exhibit. This quote explains in a simplistic idea on
how humans did evolutionize. Evolution is a long process that can happen for
many reasons. One way humans became the way they did was from a common idea of
natural selection. The traits that were needed to survive would express
themselves more and more over time. This would happen because whoever did not
have these traits probably could not have survived and died. This could happen
for many reasons but the most likely would be a