Guided tour

Doing field research in the Minster
28 July 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Auf Feldforschung im Münster
Guided tour
Doing field research in the Minster
28 July 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

For once, talk in the Basel Minster is not about theology or art history, but about anthropology. Following a 30-minute crash course in the Museum der Kulturen Basel on what anthropology is all about, we explore the Basel Minster from a new perspective: what does the church’s main porch tell us about social belonging? In how far is a church service also a performance?

Start: Museum der Kulturen Basel
End: Basel Minster

> With Antonio Russo

In German

Admission fee

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Auf Feldforschung im Münster

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
4 August 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
4 August 2019, 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 Christophe Schneider

In German

Free entry

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Kids and families

We design a measuring rod
4 August 2019 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Kids and families
We design a measuring rod
4 August 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

In earlier days, people used to measure in feet, hands, and cubits – until someone invented the measuring rod. Here you get the chance to design and decorate your own measuring rod.

> With Leah Vogler

Free entry

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Grasping anthropology

Reporting from the field
7 August 2019 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Berichte aus dem Feld
Grasping anthropology
Reporting from the field
7 August 2019, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

What’s it like cruising the streets of Bobo-Dioulasso with a cabby all night long? What do you learn from a contemporary artist if you accompany him at every step and turn? How does your attitude change when you see how old plastic bottles being guarded like treasures in Côte d’Ivoire? MA students from the Institute of Social Anthropology talk about their fieldwork experiences in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire.

> With Leah Vogler, Learning and Programmes

Admission fee

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> PDF

Berichte aus dem Feld

Guided tour

Best of
11 August 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Best-of
Guided tour
Best of
11 August 2019, 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

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Best-of

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
18 August 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
18 August 2019, 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

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
22 August 2019 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
22 August 2019, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

Scary yet beautiful demons commonly populate Asian puppetry. Just about every play also features a jester who makes fun of the reigning societal and political conditions. Let yourself to be drawn into these gripping stories about love and life.

In German

Free entry

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> PDF

Guided tour

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
25 August 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
25 August 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Puppetry thrives on seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let yourself to be drawn into these gripping stories about love and life.

> With curator Richard Kunz

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Workshop for adults

Orizomegami – paper shibori
31 August 2019 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM
Orizomegami – Shibori mit Papier
Workshop for adults
Orizomegami – paper shibori
31 August 2019, 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM

In Japan, cloths are often patterned with the aid of different shibori techniques, requiring a lot of folding, pressing, and tying. In the workshop we modify some of these techniques to decorate (Japanese) paper for use as greeting cards and bookmarks, for binding books, or for wrapping gifts.

> With Regina Mathez, Learning and Programmes, and Stephanie Lovász, exhibition curator

16 participants at most, please register by Mon 26.8. under 061 266 56 32 or at info@mkb.notexisting@nodomain.comch.

In German

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Orizomegami – Shibori mit Papier

Special event

Ear and eye, hand and heart
1 September 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Special event
Ear and eye, hand and heart
1 September 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

With the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Rap, songs, and sign language by MIX!T.

Arranged and directed by Sarah Chaksad

Pure enjoyment: bring with you a picnic basket, we’ll see to the music and the ambience.

The concert will only take place in dry weather. Check whether the concert will be held owing to the weather conditions at www.sinfonieorchesterbasel.ch

Free entry

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Kids and families

Create your own shadow play
1 September 2019 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Mach dir dein eigenes Schattentheater
Kids and families
Create your own shadow play
1 September 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

The new exhibition “Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon” features a host of shadow play figures for you to discover. We create our own figures and bring them to life with the help of flashlights.

> With Leah Vogler

Free entry

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Mach dir dein eigenes Schattentheater

Guided tour

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
1 September 2019 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Guided tour
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
1 September 2019, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

Puppetry thrives on seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let yourself to be drawn into these gripping stories about love and life.

> With Nadja Breger

In German

Free entry

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Displayable or not?
4 September 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Special event
Displayable or not?
4 September 2019, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The exhibition “Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania” is all about sensitive objects. Some are on display, others not. What are the reasons for showing some but not others?

> With curator Beatrice Voirol

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Grasping anthropology

Figures in the theatre – guided tour and discussion
4 September 2019 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Grasping anthropology
Figures in the theatre – guided tour and discussion
4 September 2019, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

Humans are not the only beings that can tell a story on stage. In fact, puppetry thrives on seemingly lifeless actors and objects. On a tour of the exhibition “Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon” we learn about different forms of puppetry, among them the Indonesian Wayang Golek. After the tour, curator Richard Kunz and the directors of the Basel Puppet Theatre Festival, Kathrin Doppler and Marius Kopp, discuss what makes the puppet theatre such a special performance form.

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
8 September 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
8 September 2019, 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

Guided tour

StrawGold
15 September 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
StrawGold
15 September 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How come a Bavarian dirndl is made of African cloths? Moreover, in what sense are these cloths still African? Objects, ideas, and technologies have been travelling between cultures since time immemorial. Learn more about these fascinating entanglements.

> With Nadja Breger

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

World views
22 September 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weltsichten
Guided tour
World views
22 September 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We invite you to explore our house and learn about its history: you get to hear about adventurous expeditions and meticulous collecting and discover surprising objects from all over the world.

> With Antonio Russo

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Weltsichten

Special event

Il y a des oiseaux dans l’aquarium – There are birds in the aquarium
25 - 29 September 2019 10:00 AM - 17:00 PM
Il y a des oiseaux dans l'aquarium – There are birds in the aquarium
Special event
Il y a des oiseaux dans l’aquarium – There are birds in the aquarium
von Magali Rousseau, Company L'Insolite Mécanique
25 - 29 September 2019, 10:00 AM - 17:00 PM

By Magali Rousseau, Company L’Insolite Mécanique

Flying machines as a theatre of illusions: in the context of the 10th International Basel Puppet Theatre Festival BAFF! we’re creating an interactive space for human beings and objects in the Hedi Keller Room of the Museum. The poetic flying machines created by the French artist enchant through their spiritedness and their moving mechanical bodies and coax viewers into interacting with them. 

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Il y a des oiseaux dans l'aquarium – There are birds in the aquarium

Guided tour

Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
29 September 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Bhima, Mr Punch, and the Demon
29 September 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Puppetry thrives on seemingly lifeless actors and objects. Let yourself to be drawn into these gripping stories about love and life.

> With Eli Wilhelm

In German

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Special event

Mr Punch’s devilish conundrum. Or: the secret of sulking
29 September 2019 14:00 - 15:00 PM
Kasper in Teufelsküche. Oder: Das Geheimnis der schlechten Laune
Special event
Mr Punch’s devilish conundrum. Or: the secret of sulking
von Marc Becker, Uraufführung
29 September 2019, 14:00 - 15:00 PM

The award-winning “Thalia’s Kompagnons” have travelled far and wide with their characters and stories and are now paying a visit to BAFF! with their play. In it, Mr Punch suffers an identity crisis after drinking a fiendish concoction, which throws him into a sullen mood. Unfortunately, the crisis also spreads to his friends, making them seriously doubt their roles in the play. Can our hero save the Punch and Judy show?

Play: Tristan Vogt; directed and stage-set by Joachim Torbahn

Limited seating

Admission fee

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Kasper in Teufelsküche. Oder: Das Geheimnis der schlechten Laune

Special event

Mother and Child
21 November 2019 18:30 - 20:30 PM
Special event
Mother and Child
21 November 2019, 18:30 - 20:30 PM

You are cordially invited.

Free entry

> Calendar
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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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