November 03, 2008

Pacific Voices: Keeping Our Cultures Alive

Posted by: Nicole Robert

In 1997, the Burke Museum opened the exhibit, Pacific Voices, which was developed in collaboration with over 100 community advisors from Seattle’s Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian, East Asian and Northwest Native American communities. They chose objects that “explored cultural identity for peoples of the Pacific Rim” and “highlighted personal experiences.”

Developed in tandem with the exhibit, Miriam Kahn, adjunct curator of Pacific Ethnology, and Erin Younger, associate director of the Burke Museum, edited the book Pacific Voices: Keeping our Cultures Alive. Each chapter in this book brings an object to life through the personal stories of community members.

Community advisors that participated in the exhibit were asked, “If you could choose one object that represents the richness of your culture and provides you with a sense of cultural identity, what would it be?” We will be featuring selected responses from week to week here on the Burke Blog. Each segment will show up as “Pacific Voices Valued Objects.” We hope you enjoy learning about these cultural artifacts from a very personal perspective!