Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme EMKP is a major programme to help preserve the knowledge of endangered material practices for future generations.

Operating as usual

17/12/2020

#Weaving and #Textile are one of the more popular topics in applications we receive. In #Morocco's Souss-Massa the diversity in communities was reflected in diversity of textiles. See how goat 🐐hair is spun. Video by @ucl 's Myriem Naji

Bark cloth, most commonly associated with #Oceania and its #IndigenousPeoples, can also still be found in #Zambia 🇿🇲 whe...
16/12/2020
Last of the Bemba Bark Cloth Makers, Zambia - Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

Bark cloth, most commonly associated with #Oceania and its #IndigenousPeoples, can also still be found in #Zambia 🇿🇲 where only a few knowledge holders still make it.
#textile #endangered #heritage

Bark fibre was, until the early 20th century, the traditional material for making clothing and containers among communities in northern […]

Although mostly known for fine chinaware, potters in #Vietnam 🇻🇳 more commonly used to make household #pottery. Since th...
04/12/2020

Although mostly known for fine chinaware, potters in #Vietnam 🇻🇳 more commonly used to make household #pottery. Since the country opened up, the skill has started to slowly disappear. Grantee Cécile de Francquen will study its history.

Find out more here: https://www.emkp.org/recording-the-knowledge-of-traditional-potters-from-vietnam-a-historical-perspective/

📸Kinh potter adding elements to her kettle (ấm nấu nước) in Quế An village. Photo: Noël-Tiến NGUYEN-THE

For 60 years this mouth harp in the British Museum  collection had no maker associated with it. Thanks to  Catherine Gra...
02/12/2020

For 60 years this mouth harp in the British Museum collection had no maker associated with it. Thanks to Catherine Grant, we now know it is likely Mong Koeuy. the #instrument is now joined by the mouth harps made by Chi Monivong, whose father Krak Chi learnt to make them from Mong Koeuy #lineage

We're on a #pottery streak! Wangiela potters of Papua New Guinea #png  🇵🇬 created distinctive #ceramics for local exchan...
30/11/2020
The Wanigela Potters: Patterns of Production and Change - Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

We're on a #pottery streak! Wangiela potters of Papua New Guinea #png 🇵🇬 created distinctive #ceramics for local exchange networks. But now it's mostly older women still making them. Learn more about the project here:

The women of Wanigela, Collingwood Bay, Oro Province, Papua New Guinea are known in the region for making distinctive cooking pots which are exchanged, one for one, for netbags, barkcloth and mats in long standing regional networks. Using […]

Andean potters of Northern #Peru 🇵🇪 and Southern #Ecuador 🇪🇨 work and travel across borders. Prof Gabriel Ramón and coll...
25/11/2020

Andean potters of Northern #Peru 🇵🇪 and Southern #Ecuador 🇪🇨 work and travel across borders. Prof Gabriel Ramón and colleagues will document the relationship between the #craft, #culture, the #Andes and #pottery making.

Find out more here:
https://tinyurl.com/y5drnwvl

📸Preparing to fire pots in San Miguel de Porotos, Ecuador (Photo: Catherine Lara)
📸Francisco Manchay making pots in company of his son, Sondorillo, Piura, Perú (Photo: Gabriel Ramón)
📸Potter’s toolkit, Cuzcudén, Cajamarca, Perú (Photo:Gabriel Ramón)

"The decline of the #pottery making is not reversible, and thus documenting and recording the technological practices be...
19/11/2020
Traditional Pottery-Making: An Endangered Indigenous Technology in the Gimbi Region of Ethiopia - Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

"The decline of the #pottery making is not reversible, and thus documenting and recording the technological practices before the traditions die out is indispensable. The timely and crucial grant we have received from the Endangered Material Knowledge Programme of the British Museum offers us the opportunity to create audio, audiovisual, documentary, and photographic data assets of this disappearing technological #tradition to preserve the #heritage resource for generations to come."
- Dr Bula Wayessa

Pottery making has a deep-rooted social and economic value, especially among artisan women, in the Gimbi of Oromia Regional State in #Ethiopia 🇪🇹. Despite its traditional socio-economic position in society, pottery-making is in danger of disappearing in this region because of interweaved internal and external factors, and in the coming years, the technology will disappear. For Dr Wayessa, the grant he and his colleagues received, is also significant because it enables them to generate ethnographic data, which will be globally accessible through the EMKP digital repository. The digital data will contribute to a body of knowledge on the pre-industrial technologies and theoretical debate on technological traditions.

Find out more about this upcoming project here:
https://bit.ly/3nHGZBx

This project sets out to document the chaîne opératoire of Oromo pottery spanning from the learning network to the production […]

Religion and ritual are central go #glassbead making at Ile Ife in #Nigeria 🇳🇬, a #craft that rivalled the famous metals...
17/11/2020
Rituals, Religious practices, and glass/glass bead making in Ile-Ife and Bida, Nigeria - Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

Religion and ritual are central go #glassbead making at Ile Ife in #Nigeria 🇳🇬, a #craft that rivalled the famous metalsmithing ⚒️of the kingdom. See how @AbidemiBabalol5 and colleagues explored the practice.
https://tinyurl.com/yxkrdefv

EMKP grantee Abidemi Babatunde Babalola and his colleagues provide an overview of some of their recent work for the Digitization […]

We are proud to announce 16 new EMKP grantees and #projects! Topics range from #foodways, #architecture, #textile making...
11/11/2020
Meet the 2020 EMKP Grantees and Their Projects - Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

We are proud to announce 16 new EMKP grantees and #projects!
Topics range from #foodways, #architecture, #textile making, and more! See all the projects here https://tinyurl.com/y29uo2z3

Thanks to British Museum and Arcadia Fund for their continued support.

Congratulations Munyaradzi Elton Sagiya, Emma Martin, Zoe Cormack, Lawrence Barham, Myriem Naji, Ann Stahl, Patrick Maundu, Gabriel Ramon, Cécile de Francquen, Raffaella Fryer-Moreira, James Munene, Catherine Scanlon, Raphael Schwere, Bula Wayessa, Chris Wingfield and their colleagues

In 2020 EMKP awards 16 new grants to projects across the globe documenting endangered traditions, skills and practices.

The work of our grantees has been featured on the British Museum blog. Find out more in the post below. We're feeling ex...
10/11/2020

The work of our grantees has been featured on the British Museum blog. Find out more in the post below. We're feeling excited!

How can we keep skills and knowledge alive? As technology advances and the world embraces change, centuries-old skills, practices and traditions can be pushed aside.

Many tools and crafts are slowly being abandoned as knowledge is no longer transferred to younger generations – sometimes disappearing altogether. Find out how the Museum and Endangered Material Knowledge Programme are helping preserve these crafts and skills – from Ghanaian gold-founding to Japanese paper clothing – here: http://ow.ly/LddG30rjmfx

To help preserve that knowledge, the Museum’s Endangered Material Knowledge Programme, or EMKP for short, was set up in 2018 with generous support from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

EMKP awards grants to researchers who work with local communities to help document how things are made, their specific background and knowledge, as well as their traditions and practices. This is often through photos, videos, 3D models as well as interviews and other data – which is then made available to everyone online.

To celebrate the extension of the Programme for a further seven years thanks to a generous grant from Arcadia, we’ve compiled six fascinating EMKP projects that have helped preserve knowledge for the future. From mouth harps to shell money and beekeeping to glass bead making, find out more here: http://ow.ly/LddG30rjmfx

Sometimes it’s #minority communities that are in danger of disappearing. The project by Alfredo González-Ruibal and coll...
07/11/2020

Sometimes it’s #minority communities that are in danger of disappearing. The project by Alfredo González-Ruibal and colleagues is working with #WesternEthiopia communities to record their unique and diverse material worlds. The variety in houses is fascinating.
#EastAfrica #Africa #endangered #architecture

Making things with your hands is always satisfying, but some may feel like they are losing touch with such #crafts. Bäta...
06/11/2020

Making things with your hands is always satisfying, but some may feel like they are losing touch with such #crafts. Bätalu Ahmed Bägosha from the Abu Ramla community in western #Ethiopia made this piping hot jar, just removed from the fire. #pottery #fire #endangered
Photo: Carlos Nieto Miranda

03/11/2020

Shells were commonly used as #currency. Shell money or ‘som’ of #Vanuatu was part of a complex exchange system, and people sailed for hundreds of miles for it. Monika Demed from Rah Island and her grandchild Michael Tovoa show you how it’s made.
#ApplyNow #Melanesia #endangered

Documentation can be about learning the craft. Grantee Julius Arerierian w @akposdiete learns to make rope from #Urhobo ...
29/10/2020

Documentation can be about learning the craft. Grantee Julius Arerierian w @akposdiete learns to make rope from #Urhobo peers in #Nigeria. Rope, still one of the most useful items, is increasingly rarely made from natural fibres like flax.
#ethnography #endangered #ApplyNow

From collecting flax to then drying and stringing it to make rope, women of all ages are involved in the #making. The #U...
28/10/2020

From collecting flax to then drying and stringing it to make rope, women of all ages are involved in the #making. The #Urhobo of #nigeria continue to use natural fibres although synthetic rope is becoming more common. However, walking under flax rope is able to break spells!

#skills @akposdiete

Out of Eden Walk and National Geographic provide a glimpse into the joys of oxcart making for U Than Win, one of the las...
26/10/2020
Wheel of Forgetting

Out of Eden Walk and National Geographic provide a glimpse into the joys of oxcart making for U Than Win, one of the last craftspeople making traditional oxcarts. Many #crafts, practices and #skills are disappearing for a range of reasons, so it is important to record them before they disappear.

Dont forget to #ApplyNow with us for #Grants to document #endangered crafts and practices.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/projects/out-of-eden-walk/articles/2020-10-wheel-forgetting/

An ox cart maker in Myanmar plies a vanishing trade.

Our #CallForApplications is still open. Our grantee Catherine Grant who worked with Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) sums up ...
21/10/2020
"Angkuoch": Rediscovering the Cambodian Jew's Harp

Our #CallForApplications is still open. Our grantee Catherine Grant who worked with Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) sums up her experience:

"This EMKP project has been one of the most rewarding research and documentation projects I've had the privilege of being involved with. It was so wonderful to meet the other grantees from across the world during the training program in London, and to go behind the scenes at the British Museum to learn more about its activities and collections. The project itself gave me the opportunity to collaborate with an international team of experts on fieldwork of international significance. Together we were able to make a substantial contribution to the knowledge and documentation of Cambodia's rich cultural heritage. One of the highlights was identifying the likely maker of a musical instrument in the British Museum's collection, donated over half a century ago. Our project has attracted the attention of government, media, and UNESCO, as well as sparking the interest of the public through the video documentary we made during our fieldwork. None of this would have been possible without the support of EMKP and Arcadia. Thank you so much EMKP for this amazing opportunity!"

Take a look at their documentary: https://tinyurl.com/yyqjz5x3

English below ទោះបីជាឧបករណ៍«អង្កួច»ត្រូវបានអ្នកស្រាវជ្រាវរកឃើញថា មានច្រើនប្រភេទនៅទូទាំងពិភពលោកក៏ដោយ ប៉ុន្តែ ប្រភ...

15/10/2020

Practitioners, knowledge holders and #researchers assemble! #CallForApplications for #Grants on documenting endangered practices, skills and material traditions is now open! Apply here https://tinyurl.com/y2mazzv3 for more info see www.emkp.org British Museum #OpenAccess #Endangered #Ethnography #knowledge

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme's cover photo
15/10/2020

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme's cover photo

Catherine Grant's project on the #Cambodia mouth harp put together a beautiful documentary on the instrument. Check it o...
12/10/2020
"Angkuoch": Rediscovering the Cambodian Jew's Harp

Catherine Grant's project on the #Cambodia mouth harp put together a beautiful documentary on the instrument. Check it out!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIJWKrdWn5g

English below ទោះបីជាឧបករណ៍«អង្កួច»ត្រូវបានអ្នកស្រាវជ្រាវរកឃើញថា មានច្រើនប្រភេទនៅទូទាំងពិភពលោកក៏ដោយ ប៉ុន្តែ ប្រភ...

Tantra at the British Museum is now open!
24/09/2020

Tantra at the British Museum is now open!

Our #TantraExhibition is now open!

Explore the radical force that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this five-star exhibition.

A philosophy originating in medieval India, Tantra has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its 6th-century transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s counterculture.

From its beginnings, Tantra has challenged religious, cultural and political conventions around the world – find out how this radical South Asian philosophy has been opening up new ways of seeing the world for 1,500 years in our curator’s blog: http://ow.ly/n28U30rb9Xo

Book your tickets for this landmark show here: http://ow.ly/OdlV30rbevC

Plus, join us for a free online event to celebrate the opening of the exhibition today at 14.00 BST – special guests Dr Jessica Frazier, Dr Madhu Khanna and Dr Nida Chenagtsang discuss what Tantra really is. Book here: http://ow.ly/qV2a30rbcHc

Supported by the Bagri Foundation

🔎 Inside the exhibition

21/09/2020
AJ+

This brought us joy. Watching beautiful toys being made using four generations of skills.

This 80-year-old Japanese toy maker wishes he could live to 200 to keep making more toys.

Excellent news and a great article on the changing attitudes towards ethnogrpahic collections
13/09/2020
Oxford museum removes shrunken heads from display after 80 years

Excellent news and a great article on the changing attitudes towards ethnogrpahic collections

Exhibiting Tsantsas "reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the museum’s core values,” says the Pitt Rivers Museum's director

27/08/2020
British Museum

The British Museum is back!

Welcome back to the British Museum!

British Museum
15/07/2020

British Museum

The Rosetta Stone – the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs – was discovered #onthisday in 1799.

Find out more about the discovery of the stone, how it came to the Museum and why it’s so important in this blog post: http://ow.ly/QNc930p5ouw

Made in 196 BC, the Rosetta Stone is inscribed with a decree written in three scripts – hieroglyphs, Demotic (the ‘popular’ script), and Ancient Greek (the language of the administration). Scholars were able to use the Greek inscription to decipher the hieroglyphs.

Read how scholars used the Greek inscription to decipher the hieroglyphs: http://ow.ly/QNc930p5ouw

British Museum
25/06/2020

British Museum

Did you know that the collections of The British Library were once housed in the British Museum?

A notable part of these collections was King George III’s library of 60,000 books, which was given to the nation by his son in 1823. It went on to be housed in the current Room 1, then called ‘The King’s Library’ – shown here. The Museum held the nation’s library until it was moved to the new British Library building at St Pancras, which was officially opened #onthisday in 1998.

#CollectionsUnited

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Recording Material Practices for Perpetuity

The Endangered Material Knowledge Programme (EMKP) is a major programme to help preserve the knowledge of endangered material practices for future generations. It is the first programme of its kind relating to objects and will offer grants to researchers globally to undertake detailed fieldwork to record disappearing and endangered practices.

Societies around the globe are changing at an unprecedented rate, and specialist, locally-informed knowledge is in danger of being lost - knowledge that has helped communities thrive in unique environmental, social and cultural contexts. The programme will document what we might term the ‘made world’ and how people use, build, make and repair the natural resources around them to create their distinctive societies, homes and spaces. Recipients of grants will be working collaboratively with local communities for significant periods, observing and recording the different material practices in detail.

EMKP and the British Museum will preserve the records in perpetuity and make them publicly available, so source communities can access, develop, and strengthen their practices and the knowledge surrounding them or use it in innovative ways. The public can explore the rich material lifeways existing across the globe and researchers gain a detailed record of material knowledge and practice that can enrich research and ethnographic collections.

EMKP is generously supported by Arcadia (https://www.arcadiafund.org.uk), a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin and is hosted by the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. The three-year programme will run from 2018-2021.


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