Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

Paris Primitive

Just after the beginning of this century, painters and poets shook "primitive" art - the beautiful masks of Africa and Oceania - in the faces of their Parisian public. "Negro" art (as it was also called) entered the art world like a pistol shot in church. It disturbed the order restructuring artists' intentions and their presentation of society.

Museums and Indigenous Peoples: Through the Display Glass

Cultural Survival is concerned with the struggles of indigenous peoples. This article considers the relation between these cultures and museums, where objects are "cultural momentos," "works of primitive art," or "artifacts of ethnographic research." Other articles presented here (such as that by Tobias Schneebaum) discuss still other kinds of museums and exhibit styles.

Introduction - 6.4

The reach into the aesthetic worlds of other cultures spans centuries. Today, a variety of motives incite Western interests in Third World arts and crafts. Multinational corporations, tourists, individual entrepreneurs, private and museum collectors are all appropriators of fine "high" art or its imitations as well as handicrafts, both the rare and the mass-produced.

Imports and Exportmania

"The industrial revolution promised us richness and variety. What do we have now? Wash and wear." These wry words from the designer-craftsman of a major U.S. importer of exotic crafts sum up the disillusionment of the Western world with the deadening predictability of mass-produced merchandise.


In 1492, the estimated aboriginal population of greater Amazonia was about 6 million, more than 10 times what it is today. Comparable figures exist for the Philippines, Australia, the Pacific Islands, North and South America, the Caribbean, the Andes, the Southern Cone of South America, and many parts of Africa.

Cultural Survival Projects - Annual Review

Since 1972 about 60% of Cultural Survival's limited funds have been channeled to field projects. Each year some projects end, others continue and new ones are undertaken. During the year we receive numerous requests regarding these projects.

Conference: Native Resource Control and Multinationals

On October 12-15, 1982, the Anthropology Resource Center, Cultural Survival, The Indian Law Resource Center, and Multinational Monitor sponsored an international conference in Washington, D.C., on "Native Resource Control and the Multinational Corporate Challenge: Aboriginal Rights in International Perspective." The conference's objectives were:


Eskimo yo-yos are two small soft balls on connecting strings. With skill these can be made to spin like helicopter rotors. In 1975, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife (F&W) agent bought some Eskimo yo-yos in the Alaska Native Arts and Crafts Coop (ANAC) in Anchorage and promptly issued a summons to ANAC for the illegal sale of bird feathers(*). ANAC paid a small fine and was issued a warning.

Tourism and the Arts in Southern Sulawesi

From the coastal fringes of Southern Sulawesi, the fertile flatlands of the Buginese, to the mountainous hinterlands of Tana Toraja Regency, Western European, American, Australian, and Japanese tourists have shaped and continue to shape the landscape of Toraja arts.

The Chinchero Center for Traditional Culture

Chinchero, a community of about 20,000 Quechua speakers, is situated on a plain at 3800 m. in the Peruvian Andes near Cuzco. The primary economic activity in Chinchero is potato agriculture, but in recent years tourism has increased drastically. The proposed location of the Cuzco International Airport in Chinchero threatens to both destroy fields and expand the number of visitors.

The Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress

In a remote corner of what used to be called Netherlands New Guinea, then West New Guinea, and is now known as Irian Jaya under the Indonesian government, some American missionaries have built a museum for local people. These people, the Asmat, are former headhunters and cannibals who made carvings for elaborate and continuous rituals and feasts that were armed to placate ancestral spirits.

The Amazon in Plexiglass

Tropical flora shrouded the paths to an aboriginal hut in which lay an array of baskets and native utensils. Several small dug-out canoes, paddles, fishing nets, and spears were scattered about the earthen clearing around the thatch-roofed dwelling. Intermittent cries of tucans and papagallos mixed with the buzz of computerized cash registers in Macy's San Francisco furniture department.

Sámiid Duodji

The Sami are a minority of 40,000 in Norway, 17,000 in Sweden, 7,000 in Finland and 5,000 in the USSR.

Craft Production in Oaxaca, Mexico

A Land of Contrasts and Contradictions

Amazonian Ceramics From Ecuador: Continuity and Change

Since Ecuador became a member of OPEC in 1973, modernization has begun to take hold throughout the nation. Yet despite rapid change, Ecuador's previously isolated Oriente, or Upper Amazonian region, native women's ceramic creations have maintained their ancient cultural traditions and, quite recently, have brought ethnic recognition to their people.