Guided tour

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
26 January 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
26 January 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Puppetry lives off seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let the gripping stories about love and life drawn you in.

> With Eli Wilhelm

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
2 February 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
2 February 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 Antonio Russo

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut

Kids and families

I bet you don’t recognize me!
2 February 2020 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Gäll, du kennsch mit nit?
Kids and families
I bet you don’t recognize me!
2 February 2020, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

We create cardboard head-masks ready for carnival, taking figures from the exhibition “Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon” as inspiration. Who do you want to be: bold Mr Punch, a demon with devilish fangs, or an Indian princess?

> With Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Gäll, du kennsch mit nit?

Grasping anthropology

Free-spirited “Mamschel Weiss” – turning the spotlight on a collector
5 February 2020 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Die eigensinnige «Mamschel Weis» – eine Sammlerin ins Licht gerückt
Grasping anthropology
Free-spirited “Mamschel Weiss” – turning the spotlight on a collector
5 February 2020, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

Annemarie Weiss (1877-1933) of Basel was an exceptional personality. The lively spinster travelled regularly to the Valais where she collected a total of almost 400 ethnographic objects for Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer, then the head of the European Department at today’s Museum der Kulturen Basel. But her name hardly ever appears. We searched for traces and are now able to shed light on free-spirited “Mamschel Weiss”. Her collection reveals what was of scientific interest at the time and what made the traditions of the Valais so fascinating for the people of Basel.

> With curator Tabea Buri and Karin Kaufmann, research fellow at the Museum der Kulturen Basel

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Die eigensinnige «Mamschel Weis» – eine Sammlerin ins Licht gerückt

Guided tour

Best of
9 February 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Best-of
Guided tour
Best of
9 February 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The most valuable, the best known, and the most popular – the “Best of” guided tour presents select objects from all exhibitions. At the same time, we question the criteria of such rankings. What are they based on: collectors’ interests, scientific value, or personal preferences? What’s at the top of your personal list, and why?

> With Reingard Dirscherl

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Best-of

Guided tour

Basel Carnival
16 February 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Basel Carnival
16 February 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Since when has the Morgestraich been a hallmark feature of carnival? Why does the Basel carnival kick off at 4 a.m. sharp on the Monday after Ash Wednesday? Get to know more about the history of the Basel carnival, its cliques, as well as the famous Guggemusigg and Schnitzelbängg.

> With curator Tabea Buri

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Basel Carnival
16 February 2020 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Guided tour
Basel Carnival
16 February 2020, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

Since when has the Morgestraich been a hallmark feature of carnival? Why does the Basel carnival kick off at 4 a.m. sharp on the Monday after Ash Wednesday? Get to know more about the history of the Basel carnival, its cliques, as well as the famous Guggemusigg and Schnitzelbängg.

> With curator Tabea Buri

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Basel Carnival
23 February 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Basel Carnival
23 February 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Since when has the Morgestraich been a hallmark feature of carnival? Why does the Basel carnival kick off at 4 a.m. sharp on the Monday after Ash Wednesday? Get to know more about the history of the Basel carnival, its cliques, as well as the famous Guggemusigg and Schnitzelbängg.

> With Lilian Vindret

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Le Carnaval de Bâle
23 February 2020 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Guided tour
Le Carnaval de Bâle
23 February 2020, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

Visite guidée en français

Le Carnaval de Bâle

Depuis quand le Morgestraich existe-t-il? Pourquoi le Carnaval de Bâle kick off-t-il le lundi après le mercredi des Cendres à quatre heures du matin ? Vous aurez un aperçu de l’histoire du carnaval et de ses cliques, “Guggenmusik” et vers satiriques nommés “Schnitzelbängg”.

> Avec Liliane Vindret

> en français

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Basel Carnival
1 March 2020 11:00 - 11:50 AM
Guided tour
Basel Carnival
1 March 2020, 11:00 - 11:50 AM

Since when has the Morgestraich been a hallmark feature of carnival? Why does the Basel carnival kick off at 4 a.m. sharp on the Monday after Ash Wednesday? Get to know more about the history of the Basel carnival, its cliques, as well as the famous Guggemusigg and Schnitzelbängg.

> With Margrit Gontha

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Basel Carnival
1 March 2020 12:00 - 12:50 PM
Guided tour
Basel Carnival
1 March 2020, 12:00 - 12:50 PM

Since when has the Morgestraich been a hallmark feature of carnival? Why does the Basel carnival kick off at 4 a.m. sharp on the Monday after Ash Wednesday? Get to know more about the history of the Basel carnival, its cliques, as well as the famous Guggemusigg and Schnitzelbängg.

> With Margrit Gontha

> In English

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Kids and families

My colourful lantern
1 March 2020 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Meine bunte Laterne
Kids and families
My colourful lantern
1 March 2020, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

Morgestraich is at the door and soon beautiful lanterns will light up the town once again. We make our own lantern out of a PET bottle and colourful paper.

> With Leah Vogler and Aila Özvegyi, Learning and Programmes

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Meine bunte Laterne

Visitors with special needs

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
1 March 2020 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Visitors with special needs
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
1 March 2020, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

Puppetry lives off seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let the gripping stories about love and life drawn you in.

> With Lua Leirner

> In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

World views
8 March 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weltsichten
Guided tour
World views
8 March 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

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
15 March 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
15 March 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 Réka Mascher-Frigyesi

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Wissensdrang trifft Sammelwut

Special event

The Soldier’s Tale
21 March 2020 20:00 - 21:15 PM
Die Geschichte vom Soldaten
Special event
The Soldier’s Tale
21 March 2020, 20:00 - 21:15 PM

From the exhibition to the stage: the replicas of age-old puppets by Elsi and Fernand Giauque are coming to Basel: in “The Soldier’s Tale” by Charles Ferdinand-Ramuz and Igor Stravinsky, a soldier agrees to a deal with the devil: in exchange for his violin he receives a book with the promise of great wealth – but will it really make him happy?

A collaboration between the Museum der Kulturen Basel, the Basler Marionettentheater, and the Marionettenoper im Säulensaal des Musikwissenschaftlichen Seminars der Universität Heidelberg

> Venue: Basler Marionettentheater, Zehntenkeller, Münsterplatz 8

> Limited seating, advance booking at Basler Marionettentheater, Tel. 061 206 99 96, at www.ticketcorner.ch, or at Bider & Tanner, Basel

> Admission fee Basel Puppet Theatre

> In German

Foto © Matthew Gardner

> Calendar
> PDF

Die Geschichte vom Soldaten

Guided tour

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
22 March 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
22 March 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Puppetry lives off seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let the gripping stories about love and life drawn you in.

> With Nadja Breger

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

The Soldier's Tale
22 March 2020 15:00 - 16:15 PM
Die Geschichte vom Soldaten
Special event
The Soldier's Tale
22 March 2020, 15:00 - 16:15 PM

From the exhibition to the stage: the replicas of age-old puppets by Elsi and Fernand Giauque are coming to Basel: in “The Soldier’s Tale” by Charles Ferdinand-Ramuz and Igor Stravinsky, a soldier agrees to a deal with the devil: in exchange for his violin he receives a book with the promise of great wealth – but will it really make him happy?

A collaboration between the Museum der Kulturen Basel, the Basler Marionettentheater, and the Marionettenoper im Säulensaal des Musikwissenschaftlichen Seminars der Universität Heidelberg

> Venue: Basler Marionettentheater, Zehntenkeller, Münsterplatz 8

> Limited seating, advance booking at Basler Marionettentheater, Tel. 061 206 99 96, at www.ticketcorner.ch, or at Bider & Tanner, Basel

> Admission fee Basel Puppet Theatre

> In German

Foto © Matthew Gardner

> Calendar
> PDF

Die Geschichte vom Soldaten

Guided tour

BIG
29 March 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
BIG
29 March 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Big doesn’t always mean the same thing. The guided tour tells you more about the cultural dimensions of bigness, with power and status providing two good examples. But how and by whom is size defined and measured? And what’s so impressive about big things?

> With Reingard Discherl

> In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Memory
25 June 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Memory
25 June 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening.

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Enlightened
24 September 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Enlightened
24 September 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening.

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Snow
19 November 2020 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Snow
19 November 2020, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited to the exhibition opening.

Free entry

> 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.
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