Beads of Diplomacy in New France
At the beginning of the 17th century in Northeastern North America, as France extended its colonial hold in the region, cylindrical shell beads named wampum (called “porcelains” by the French) began to be used as an object of exchange between Native Americans and Europeans.
This exhibition follows the tracks of the surviving examples of wampum in France, which are among the oldest in the world. It looks at their meaning and use over time, based on a dialogue with Abenaki, French, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee partners.
Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
February 8 till May 15, 2022
Shell beads from North America known as wampum are more than just a raw material transformed into beads. Polished, strung and woven, exchanged and gifted, coveted and imitated, they are a valuable witness to a chapter in the history of New France (1600-1763).
This issue of Gradhiva traces the tracks of the surviving examples of wampum in France, which are among the oldest in the world. It looks at their meaning and use over time, by re-examining the past and current history and cultural practices of the Abenaki, French, Haudenousaunee and Huron peoples. Strings and belts made of wampum - the "talking beads" of Iroquoian, Algonquian, and European nations in the 17th and 18th centuries - shed new light on a diplomatic history from both sides of the…
In the history of what are generally termed the French 'Royal' collections, there is one that has always intrigued specialists, due to the age and exceptional quality of the items it comprises, from all over the world: this is the 'Cabinet of curiosities and of decorative art objects'' from the Versailles Public Library, today held by the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. The Scribe Accroupi offers you a private tour of the exhibition which is devoted to it.
The Gradhiva magazine devotes a special issue to the history and collection of the "Cabinet of curiosities and art objects" of the Public Library of Versailles, now held by the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.
In 1806, the Versailles Public Library received an extraordinary collection of objects from around the world, most of which can be found today in the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. The collections expanded considerably during the nineteenth century, due to the generosity of a number of Versaillais donors. When the musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris took over the collection in 1934, it comprised roughly 534 items from Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.