Cultural Representation of Southwest China Through the Lens of a Yi Collection in Milwaukee

Chunfen Zhou (Indiana University)

Objects from ethnic minorities in Southwest China are rarely found in American cultural institutions. When such a collection exists, the way that it was built and displayed can be indicative of how that culture was represented by non-native actors. Through archival research, I pieced together the collecting and exhibition history of a group of Yi items in the Milwaukee Public Museum. I also compared it to a more recent exhibition on the Yi people in another museum to reflect on changes in relevant museological practices. My research was supplemented by a survey of Yi materials held across the United States.

Part of 01-07 Minority Peoples, Expressive Culture, and Heritage in—and from—the Southeast Asian Massif, Part 1, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am