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Diorama Details


Closeup of winter travelling scene, Ashkibokhan Diorama

Closeup of winter travelling scene, Aschkibokahn Diorama

Hello, everyone! Kristina’s blog post for this week is going to be a bit different than some of her other posts:

Over Reading Week I went to a conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, so I didn’t start any new research. Most of my work since my last blog post has been focused on continuing to figure out what is going to be involved with the QR code project, so I thought I would instead take this opportunity to blog a bit about the diorama itself.

The diorama is an astounding piece of work. Betsy Thorsteinson, an extremely talented artist, along with her skilled group of volunteers, put an incredible amount of detail into the diorama. The result of all their hard work is a diorama that, from afar, looks as if it could be a photograph of a real-life fishing camp. Taken as a whole, the diorama is beautiful.

To fully appreciate the amount of effort that went into the creation of the display, however, it helps to take a closer look. To that end, two separate monocles, or monoculars, are provided with the diorama so that visitors can get a close-up view of some of the details. The monocle lets viewers zoom in on different areas and see food being prepared in pottery vessels, birds flying amongst trees, and fish being smoked over fires.  The monocles help to focus on the thought and precision that went into the display. From the figurines of the family, to the branches of the trees, to the smoke rising from the campfires, every detail tells a story.

The monocles help visitors to zoom in on areas that make them curious. This parallels what I am hoping to accomplish with my project –  to give visitors the option of learning more about the present-day site, along with seeing the bigger picture of the site.

That’s all for this week! Please check back next week to see how my project progresses.

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Dr. Maureen Matthews

Curator of Cultural Anthropology

See Full Biography

Dr. Maureen Matthews, Curator of Cultural Anthropology joined The Manitoba Museum staff in November 2011. Before coming to the museum. she was a CBC Radio journalist and winner of five awards for Investigative Journalism from the Canadian Association of Journalists. She completed a D. Phil. in Social and Cultural Anthropology (2010) at the University of Oxford and her thesis, published as a book by the University of Toronto Press in 2016, Naamiwan’s Drum: The Story of a Contested Repatriation of Anishinaabe Artefacts, won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non Fiction from the Manitoba Writers Guild. She received an award from the Canadian Museums Association for “We are All Treaty People” an exhibit created in collaboration with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. She was the recipient of a Governor General’s History Award for the outreach project Spirit Lines and was also awarded an International Guardians of Culture Award by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums for the same project.