Bowers Museum Essay

852 Words2 Pages

By Matthew Kolb
ANTH 100: Non-Western Cultures and the Western Tradition
Instructor: Steven R. James
April 23, 2014

The Bowers Museum is located in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana at 2002 N. Main Street. The mission of the museum is to “enrich lives through the worlds finest arts and cultures.” It is named after Orange County land developer Charles Bowers, who donated the land after his death. The museum was founded in 1936 by the city of Santa Ana. The mission style building and surrounding accommodations have expanded six times the original size to nearly 100,000 square feet. Today, the museum is host to a wide variety of events and exhibits. They also offer lectures, events, and child’s programs. Current installations include: Animal Mummies, Beethoven, and The Lure of Chinatown. The museum also houses permanent displays that encapsulate the historical significance of pre-modern California cultures. These include; California: The Golden years, California Legacies: Missions and Ranchos, and First Californians. Overall the Bowers museum provides a wonderful display of art and culture from various cultures around the world.
1) Artifact Display
The display that I will be focusing my research on is called First Californians. The display encompasses many of the different artifacts pertaining to the first Native Americans of California. All artifacts are displayed behind glass cases with brief description of how the items were used. Artifacts from many tribes are displayed. However, the two most prominent tribes displayed are the Chumash Natives of the Northern Channel Islands and the Gabreilino (Tongva) natives of modern day LA and Orange County Regions. In the center of the room lay...

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...humash houses were hemispherical in shape and as large as 55 feet in diameter. They were constructed of arched poles covered with grass. Typically several families within the tribe shared one dwelling. Members slept on raised beds separated by hanging mats to offer privacy. Mats were also used as doors to keep the dwelling separated from the outside elements. A fireplace was present in the center of the structure to provide heat while a circular vent in the ceiling allowed for the smoke to escape. The houses were arranged clustered together in the village to provide for security and community. Shelter was a vital part of Chumash survival. They provided shelter from the elements as well as a sense of unity within the village.
Village Lifeway

World View
Euro-American Contact and Consequences
Europeans first contacted the Chumash in 1542 AD (Island Chumash P. 1).

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