Buchalik L. Taking on the Ugandan Footsteps of Czekanowski. Building an Ethnographic Collection in the Era of Mass Tourism

L. Buchalik
Municipal Museum in Żory
Żory, Poland
ORCID: 0000-0002-8547-8526
E-mail: lucjanbuchalik@muzeum.zory.pl

 

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ABSTRACT. The article describes the process of creating the exhibition Polish Way of Learning of the World at the Museum in Żory, which presents the achievements of scholars of non-European cultures. Most of the figures shown at the exhibition had an insurgent past. They were forced to leave the country by the tsarist authorities or exiled to Siberia. Professor Jan Czekanowski, who is considered one of the Fathers of Polish ethnology, has become one of the main characters of our exhibition. The article deals with the problem of contemporary collecting. It raises the question whether it makes sense to create ethnographic collections a hundred years after Czekanowski’s research. Creation of a contemporary collection is a registration of the present life. In comparison with the “old collection”, it shows the changes and mobility of traditional cultures. We cannot stop at presenting the old times because in that case it would not be a true picture. The visitor of such an “old” exhibition can travel to the country presented and experience a cognitive dissonance, i. e. the clash of ideas taken from the museum with the reality found in the field.

 

KEYWORDS: Czekanowski, Uganda, ethnographic collections, exhibition, changes

 

DOI 10.31250/2618-860 0-2021-1(11)-139-153
UDK 39

 

INTERVIEWEES  

  1. Cherotwo, age ~35, profession: tourist guide, Sironko.
  2. Kassim, age ~30, profession: tourist guide, Katwe.
  3. Margaret, age ~40, profession: saleswoman in a gift shop, Fort Portal.
  4. Olive, age ~40, profession: saleswoman in a gift shop, Fort Portal.

 

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