Guided tour

World views
25 October 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weltsichten
Guided tour
World views
25 October 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Explore the museum and its history: get to hear about adventurous expeditions and meticulous collecting, discover surprising objects from all corners of the world, and learn what modern anthropology is all about.

> With Antonio Russo

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Weltsichten

Guided tour

Day of the dead – family feast and cultural heritage
1 November 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Totentag – Familienfest und Kulturerbe
Guided tour
Day of the dead – family feast and cultural heritage
1 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

All Saints’ and All Souls’ are celebrated in Mexico as a lively and joyful reunion with deceased family members. As a matter of fact, the “Día de Muertos“ even features in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The guided tour of the “Memory” exhibition sheds light on the Day of the Dead’s many facets – from cultural politics to favoured foods of the dead.

> With curator Alexander Brust

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Totentag – Familienfest und Kulturerbe

Kids and families

Creepily beautiful for Halloween
1 November 2020 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Gruselig-schön an Halloween
Kids and families
Creepily beautiful for Halloween
1 November 2020, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is a joyful and colourful event. Bright, flower-decorated skulls are a particularly popular adornment. They serve us as inspiration for our Halloween masks.

> With Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

> Material CHF 5.–

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Gruselig-schön an Halloween

Grasping anthropology

Values in times of uncertainty
4 November 2020 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Werte in unsicheren Zeiten
Grasping anthropology
Values in times of uncertainty
4 November 2020, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

In times of uncertainty, values tend to undergo changes. Some things become unimportant, others gain in significance. Values are often also associated with precious objects such as a roll of feather money from the Solomon Islands or a Maori feather cloak. But what makes an object valuable? On a tour through the exhibitions, we discuss the question of cultural valuation with the help of selected exhibits.

> With curator Beatrice Voirol and Réka Mascher-Frigyesi, Learning and Programmes

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Werte in unsicheren Zeiten

Guided tour

Thirst for knowledge meets collecting mania
8 November 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut
Guided tour
Thirst for knowledge meets collecting mania
8 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – is now a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With curator Beatrice Voirol

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut

Guided tour

Memory
15 November 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Memory
Moments of Remembering and Forgetting
15 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The exhibition playfully reveals practices by which people commemorate important moments in life, but quickly also forget about them again. From birth to death, significant events are passed down by word of mouth, chiselled in stone, or, as the case may be, kept secret.

> With Sabine Rotach

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Enlightened
22 November 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Enlightened
The Realm of the Buddhas
22 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

What is so captivating about the Buddha? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With curator Stephanie Lovász

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Searching for the Buddha
25 November 2020 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Special event
Searching for the Buddha
25 November 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The exhibition “Enlightened – The World of the Buddhas” features numerous representations of different Buddhas. Today we focus on the historical Buddha, Buddha Shakyamuni. We try to fathom him with the aid of historical facts, testimonies, his teachings, and artistic representations.

> With curator Stephanie Lovász

> In German

> Calendar
> PDF

Workshop for adults

Furoshiki, Washi and Co – Wrapping presents Japanese style
28 November 2020 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM
Furoshiki, Washi und Co. – Geschenke verpacken auf japanische Art
Workshop for adults
Furoshiki, Washi and Co – Wrapping presents Japanese style
28 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM

A Japanes furoshiki is a square piece of cloth that is used for different purposes: as a type of lunchbox, as a carrier bag for personal items, or for wrapping presents. Participants are introduced to different knotting and folding techniques for elegantly wrapping objects of different size and shape in either cloth or paper. In this way, the wrap itself already becomes a gift.

> With Regina Mathez, Learning and Programmes

> CHF 95.–

Please, bring with you a picnic for lunch and an item for wrapping.

14 participants at most, please register by Monday 23.11. under 061 266 56 00 or at info@mkb.notexisting@nodomain.comch

> Calendar
> PDF

Furoshiki, Washi und Co. – Geschenke verpacken auf japanische Art

Guided tour

Enlightened
29 November 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Enlightened
The Realm of the Buddhas
29 November 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

What is so captivating about the Buddha? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With Anna Buser

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Grasping anthropology

Encounters with the Buddha
2 December 2020 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Grasping anthropology
Encounters with the Buddha
2 December 2020, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

What makes Buddhism so popular? What kind of transformations and reinterpretations has the Buddha’s teachings experienced in their more than two-thousand-year history? We invite you to explore the many facets of Buddhism and learn more about it through its imagery and ideas.

> With the curators Stephanie Lovász and Ursula Regehr

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Enlightened
6 December 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Enlightened
6 December 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Why does the Buddha fascinate so many people? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With Sarah Labhardt

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Kids and families

Shining lotus blossoms
6 December 2020 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Leuchtende Lotusblüten
Kids and families
Shining lotus blossoms
6 December 2020, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

The lotus is a special flower. All dirt seems to magically pearl off which is why the lotus flower stands for purity in Buddhism. Using paper and colours we make a lotus lamp to guide us through the dark days ahead.

> With Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

> Material CHF 5.–

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Leuchtende Lotusblüten

Visitors with special needs

Enlightened
6 December 2020 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Visitors with special needs
Enlightened
6 December 2020, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

What is so captivating about the Buddha? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With Lua Leirner

> In German sign language

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Artfully wrapped
12 December 2020 12:00 - 16:00 PM
Kunstvoll verpackt
Special event
Artfully wrapped
12 December 2020, 12:00 - 16:00 PM

Our museum shop offers gifts for all ages and occasions. In addition, this weekend we provide a special pre-Xmas service: no matter whether it’s a shawl, jewellery, a book, or a game – we wrap all your gifts Japanese style.

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Kunstvoll verpackt

Guided tour

Enlightened
13 December 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Enlightened
Die Welt der Buddhas
13 December 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

What is so captivating about the Buddha? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With Nadja Breger

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Artfully wrapped
13 December 2020 12:00 - 16:00 PM
Kunstvoll verpackt
Special event
Artfully wrapped
13 December 2020, 12:00 - 16:00 PM

Our museum shop offers gifts for all ages and occasions. In addition, this weekend we provide a special pre-Xmas service: no matter whether it’s a shawl, jewellery, a book, or a game – we wrap all your gifts Japanese style.

> Calendar
> PDF

Kunstvoll verpackt

Guided tour

Enlightened
20 December 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Enlightened
Die Welt der Buddhas
20 December 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

What is so captivating about the Buddha? What makes his teachings so appealing? The guided tour offers enlightenment.

> With Sarah Labhardt

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Memory
27 December 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Memory
Momente des Erinnerns und Vergessens
27 December 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The exhibition playfully reveals practices by which people commemorate important moments in life, but quickly also forget about them again. From birth to death, significant events are passed down by word of mouth, chiselled in stone, or, as the case may be, kept secret.

> With Eli Wilhelm

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Museum > Collection

Collection

The collections of the Museum der Kulturen go back to the mid-19th century. With the valuable pieces from Ancient America donated by the Basel businessman Lukas Vischer, the city at the knee of the Rhine came into possession of one of the first ethnological collections in Europe.
Initially, private collectors used their own money to travel across continents and bring back to Basel interesting objects and evidence of everyday indigenous culture. What started as a small collection that was part of a universal museum developed, thanks to scholars such as Fritz and Paul Sarasin, Felix Speiser, Paul Wirz and Alfred Bühler, into a stronghold of scientific work and an ethnological museum of international standing. In the subsequent decades, they made further major contributions to the systematic expansion of the collection.

Today, the Museum der Kulturen Basel is among the most important ethnographic museums in Eu-rope. Its collection of more than 300'000 objects is impressive and of world renown. Over generations, comprehensive collections were built up focusing on particular areas, with valuable objects from Eu-rope, Africa, America, Oceania, Indonesia, South, Central and East Asia.

In addition to ethnographic artefacts, it also has a collection of around 50'000 historic photographs. These are both objects as well as a source for conducting research into the object.

At irregular intervals, individual collections are described and photographically documented on this page.

This site is still under construction!
Objects
Big Babanki, Hocker mit Menschenköpfen, Kamerun, 1962, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Opferhäuschen, Indonesien, Borneo, Kalimantan, vor 1935, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Priesterweste, Indonesien, Borneo, Kalimantan, vor 1935, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Ganesha, Indien, 1856, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Mahjong. Han, China; vor 1898; Bambus; IId 85. Mahjong ist ein Spiel für vier Personen und in Ostasien von ungebrochener Belibtheit. Unser Spiel hat 144 Spielsteine, Ziegel genannt.
Guanyin. Han, China; 19. Jh.; Holz; IId 1363. Die Göttin der Barmherzigkeit und des Mitgefühls ist die chinesische Variante des Avalokiteshvara. Sie verspricht, jene zu retten, die sie anrufen.
Essschale. Han Shandong, China; Quing-Dynastie (1644-1911), Quianlong (1736-1796); Porzellan; IId 478. Gerichte werden in Schalen und auf Platten in der Mitte des Tisches platziert. Jede Person hat eine eigene Schale, in die sie ihr Essen legt.
Bügeleisen (yuntou). Han, China; 19. Jh.; Messing, Holz; IId 9535. Zum Erhitzen wurden glühende Kohlen in das Metallbecken gefüllt und mit Sand vermischt, um die Hitze länger zu halten.
Weste aus Bambus. Han, China; 19. Jh.; Baumwolle, Bambus; IId 279. Das Unterhemd aus verknoteten Baumwollfäden mit aufgefädelten Bambusröhrchen schützte das Oberkleid von Körperausdünstungen.
Altar. Rajastan, Indien; 20. Jh.; Holz, Farbe; IIa 11492. Der Flügelaltar ist der Gottheit Vishnu gewidmet. Er wird von professionellen Erzählern genutzt, um die in Bildern dargestellten Legenden vorzutragen.
Göttin Kali. Indien; 2000; Holz, Gips, Karton, Papier, Plastikperlen, Metallblech, synthetisches Haar; IIa 11493. Die Göttin Kali, wörtlich: die Schwarze, wird in ganz Indien verehrt. Die zu ihren Ehren abgehaltene Zeremonien finden im häuslichen Bereich und im öffentlichen Raum statt.
Das Geistwesen Maha Giri. Yangon, Myanmar; 2000; Holz, Tüll, Stoff, Papier, Metall; IIb 4052.14. Nat ist in Myanmar die Bezeichnung für ein ganzes Heer von verschiedenen Geistwesen, die omnipräsent sind. Maha Giri wird in jedem Haushalt verehrt.
Stevenfigur. New Georgia Island, Salomonen; vor 1929; Holz, Nautilusschale; Expedition Paravicini 1928-29; Vb 7525. Die Figur wurde am Steven eines Kanus oberhalb der Wasserlinie aufgesetzt. Sie soll Gefahren frühzeitig erkannt und die Menschen davor beschützt haben.
Fasnachtslaterne. Basel, Schweiz; 1929; Holz, Metall, Textil, Acrylfarbe; VI 11885; Sammlung Paul Wilde, Basel. 384 x 266 x 140,5 cm. Grosse Zugslaternen mit satirischen Darstellungen sind eine Besonderheit der Basler Fasnacht. Dieses Transparent schuf der Kunstmaler Wilde.
Maske. Basel, Schweiz; 1950/60; Papier, Acrylfarbe, Pflanzenfasern; VI 71116; Sammlung Christian Kaufmann, Basel. 30 x 19,5 x 63,5 cm. Die in Basel etablierte Kunst des Larvenkaschierens ist auch ausserhalb der Fasnacht beliebt. Diese Maske entstand zum 60. Geburtstag von Prof. Alfred Bühler.
Männerkopftuch. Palästina; 1981; Baumwolle; IIe; Sammlung Basler Mission. 112 x 117 cm. Die kufiya, das in Palästina traditionell getragene Männerkopftuch, ist seit den 1970er Jahren zu einem Mode-Accessiore des Westens geworden.
Synkretistisches Amulett. Zizers, Graubünden, Schweiz; 18. Jh.; Pergament, Handschrift; VI 25297; Sammlung Emanuel Grossmann, Riehen. 174 x 5,6 cm. Das mit magischen, jüdischen und christlichen Symbolen und Formeln beschriebene Amulett belegt kabbalistisches Wissen im Alpenraum.
Rechtsurkunde, "Tessel". Albinen, Wallis, Schweiz; 1818; Holz, Hanfschnur; VI 6570; Sammlung Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer, Basel. 31 x 65,5 cm. Mit Hauszeichen und Kerben wurden früher Abmachungen zu Rechten und Pflichten einer Gemeinschaft festgelegt und garantiert.
Fasnachtslarve. Basel, Schweiz; 2003; Papier, Acrylfarbe, Baumwolle, Kunststoff; III 27550; Sammlung Maoua Koné, Bamako. In Mali vertraut mit Fabelwesen lernt die Marionetten-Künstlerin in Basel den "Basilisk" kennen und krönt damit eine Fasnachtslarve.
Anker. Insel Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Deutschland; 19. Jh; Holz, Gneis; VI 48; Sammlung Paul und Fritz Sarasin, Basel. 85 cm. Sehr archaisch wirkt dieser einfach und günstig herzustellende Anker eines Ostsee-Fischers: Das Holzgeäst wird durch einen Stein beschwert.
Möbelmalerei. Toggenburg (?), Ostschweiz, Schweiz; um 1880; Holz, Ölmalerei; VI 25393; Sammlung Max Wydler, Zürich; 57,5 x 62,5 cm. Die Kastenfüllung steht für die in der Ostschweiz verbreitete Tradition der Möbelmalerei. Dieser Engel soll wohl die Funktion eines Schutzengels haben.
Eingericht, Geduldflasche. Burgenland, Österreich; 1901; Glas, Papier, Textilien; VI 56628; Sammlung Wolfgang Riedl, Wien; 23,5 x 7,5 x 11,5 cm. Gleich wie das Buddelschiff der Seemänner entstand mit geduldiger Hand diese als Wallfahrtsandenken dienende Arbeit.
Kleines Andachtsbild. Prag, Tschechische Republik; um 1850; Papier, kolorierter Stahlstich, Goldprägung; VI 12574; Sammlung Anton Pachinger, Wien; 12 x 8 cm. Ein Zeugnis für die schon früher über weite Wege gepflegten Beziehungen: Dieses "Pragerbildchen" erwarben Pilger in Triberg (Schwarzwald).
Grabtuch. Besançon, Doubs, Frankreich; ca. 1750; Seide, Stickerei; VI 20819; Sammlung A. L. Henry, Montreux; 20 x 27 cm. Bis Ende des 18. Jh. stritten sich mehrere Orte um den Besitz des echten Grabtuches. Hohe Verehrung genoss jenes im französischen Jura.
Wallfahrtswimpel. Antwerpen, Belgien; 1706; Papier, Druck; 42591; Sammlung Werner Konrag Jaggi, Zürich,; 13,3 x 8.5 cm. In einigen Gegenden Europas erwirbt man noch heute einen am Gnadenbild befestigten Wimpel. Seltener sind sie in ein Mirakelbuch eingefügt.
Votivbild. Polling, Bayern, Deutschland; 1835; Öl auf Holz, Silberblech; VI 30390; Sammlung Max Wydler, Zürich; 31,5 x 25 cm. Als sichtbares Zeichen der Dankbarkeit gegenüber einer göttlichen Macht lässt sich das Votoivbild auch als gemaltes Gebet bezeichnen.
Hinterglasbild. Czestochowa, Woj. Slaskie, Polen; 1981; Hinterglasmalerei, Holz; VI 57636; Sammlung Borys Malkin, Warschau; 44 x 34 cm. Erst im 18. Jh. findet das Hinterglasbild Eingang in die meist religiöse Volkskunst. Die Maria im Sträflingskleid entstand zur Erinnerung an ein KZ-Opfer.
^ go top