Stevan Harrell, Burke Museum and Anthropology
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 35-3010
Totem Poles: A Chinese Teaching Video
This is a class project that I am supervising for five anthropology undergraduate students from Sichuan University in Chengdu, who are spending the academic year at the UW: Wang Yuanyuan, Cao Linlin, Sun Weiguo, Li Yiyuan, and Tang Jing. They have previously made a VCD of a funeral in a tribal village in Sichuan, and now propose to make a similar video for teaching, approximately 30 or 35 minutes, on the topic of totem poles. The topic of totem poles was chosen for three reasons: a) they are visually striking and famous b) there is nothing available in China or in Chinese on this important anthropological and artistic phenomenon c) the Burke Museum is mounting a year-long exhibit on totem poles, complete with carvers carving in the museum. There is as yet no set script for the video. Topics that may be included would be: Totem poles in and around Seattle Totem poles in the Burke Museum exhibit, 'Out of the Silence,' and in its collections The process of carving totem poles The people, Indian and non-Indian, who carve poles, and why they do it. Ceremonies locally or in Alaska that involve totem poles. Right now, the students need more material on all these topics--both background information and video footage-- before they begin the process of formulating and editing the video.