Friday, September 21, 2012

Of Skulls, Buddhas, and Fading Memories

Here are some pictures I found, from one of my trips to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History in the early nineties.

These are pictures developed from film that I photographed today with my digital camera; so they have today's date, but are actually over twenty years old, being essentially pictures of pictures. All photos, except for my portrait with the skulls, were taken by me. And the Tibetan art, are of actual live exhibits, sculptures and temple motifs, not merely pictures hanging on the museum's wall.

I share them because I think they are interesting. Plus these pictures were misplaced for over a year, were buried in a folder in the bottom of a wine box, which I finally found today, and thought they'd make a good post.

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Yes, that's me in the center. I was 14 years old then. It's kind of a dorky picture of me, or maybe it's just the lighting, but regardless of that, I really like this picture a lot. It's actually one of my favorites. I like the skulls. I'm trying to remember what this exhibit was from, and unfortunately I'm not absolutely positive, but I'm thinking it may have either been African (Sub-Saharan), or Polynesian or Micronesian, possibly depicting the Papua New Guinean headhunters. But that's just a guess, as my memory is a bit fuzzy, and I never labeled the picture, though it definitely wasn't from Egypt or Tibet; don't think it was Cambodian, but who knows, maybe it was. I'm sorry that I don't remember more.

I remember really liking this picture when I took it. It was from the Tibetan exhibit, as are the rest of the pictures. Back then, at the time these pictures were taken, I remember that my favorite exhibits at the Field Museum were the ones from Tibet and Ancient Egypt.

I remember being really enchanted by this, was kind of a mystical experience for me, and for a moment felt like I was actually transported to Ancient Tibet. I felt an instantaneous attraction toward the religious motifs of Tibet the very first moment I laid eyes on them. Not long after this, I read Alexandra David-Neel's Magic and Mystery and Tibet, and have had a long standing fascination with Tibet ever since.

*This is post 13 of 20, part of my "20 posts in 30 days" challenge. I do have a few more museum pictures, some of which may be worth sharing, just have to locate them, they're buried somewhere in a box. If so, that'll be another post, though not necessarily this month, but whenever the time is right.