#Illinois International Week Spotlight: Tukuna Collection overview image

#Illinois International Week Spotlight: Tukuna Collection

  • Post Date4/7/2016
  • AuthorAmy Heggemeyer
  • Reading Time2 minute read

One of the better known collections at Spurlock Museum was gathered by a student with financial support from the University. Charles E. Bolian (PHD '75, LAS) was conducting archaeological fieldwork near Leticia, Colombia when came in contact with the Tukuna peoples. It is likely that this contact was made at the recommendation of Professor Donald W. Lathrap, who had previously come into contact with the Tukuna during his 1967 fieldwork in the Ucayali region of Peru.  

The Department of Anthropology and the Center for Latin American Studies provided funds for Bolian to collect bark cloth costumes, masks, and other material culture items related to the Tukuna. Of particular interest were those pieces related to the girl's puberty ceremony known as Moca Nova or Peleacon

In the same manner as the Alkire Collection, the Bolian collection arrived at Spurlock Museum in 2000 with other Lab of Anthropology collections.

  • bark cloth with cross pattern and snake design
  • bark cloth with church illustration
  • white mask with open mouth and brown surround
  • Triangular bark cloth mask with black and purple painted face
  • bark cloth textile with lizard design and brown fringe on bottom
  • bark cloth with geometric design that radiates from center
  • bark cloth with geometric design in a plus sign