Cultures Up Close Archive

Summer Fun: Make a Spinning Top

To celebrate summer, this month we’re going to have fun learning about and making spinning tops. History Spinning tops developed independently in cultures all over the world. They are among the oldest recognizable toys found by archaeologists and have been found on every continent except Antarctica. Tops found in China date from around 1250 BCE. […]

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Papua New Guinea: Make a Shell Necklace

To celebrate May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this segment explores a few more of the museum’s objects from Papua New Guinea. You can see our previous post about how to make a drum from Papua New Guinea here. Papua New Guinea is one the world’s least explored countries because of its […]

Categories: Cultures Up Close


Yoruba: Create a Royal Crown

For centuries the Yoruba people have shared a common language and culture but have never been a single united group.  It is believed they migrated from Central Africa to their present locations in West Africa over a thousand years ago. The Yoruba established numerous kingdoms, which were centered around a capital city or town and […]

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Plains Indian Tribes: Create a Winter Count

Unfortunately, the Lam Museum doesn’t have a winter count in our collection. However, it seemed like the perfect time of year to learn about and make one. Portions of this post were adapted from South Dakota Public Broadcasting and the National Park Service. Winter counts are pictographic calendars or records of historical and memorable events […]

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Decorate a Day of the Dead Mask

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, this month’s program is about the celebration called Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). What is Day of the Dead? Day of the Dead is not the Mexican version of Halloween! The traditions and tone of both celebrations are different. Halloween is a scary night of terror […]

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Senegal: Make a Recycled Treasure Box

As children are returning to school and parents are returning to the office, I thought I would spotlight the museum’s recycled lunchbox and briefcase from Senegal. Where is Senegal? Senegal is a West African country with mostly a desert like climate, although there is a rainy season. The smallest African country, The Gambia, separates Senegal’s […]

Categories: Cultures Up Close


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