America

The American collection of the National Museum in Szczecin amounts to 1.5 thousand objects. They were obtained mainly on account of scientific expeditions and private persons' donations. Some of them used to belong to pre-war museums of Szczecin. Collecting relics from South America began with cooperation of the Museum with Polish Scientific Expedition to Andes arranged in 1978 by, among others, Committee of Archaeology and American Studies of Polish Academy of Sciences. On account of it, the collection of the Museum was enriched by over 200 various objects illustrating the culture of Quechua people, mainly from the area of  Huacho Sin Pescado in the province of Lima (Peru). They included farming tools, (among others set tools, like calza and taclla), clay vessels, gourd vessels, musical instruments, clothes, wool blankets, jewelery, retabolo nativity scenes and caminante Passion crosses, as well, as caballito boat made of totora from Trujillo.

In 1980s the Museum obtained great collections on account of students’ expeditions to South America. In 1981 Ecological Expedition of the University of Silesia in Katowice brought ca. 60 exhibits originating from tropical forest zone in Peru. Those exhibits illustrate Shipibo and Campa cultures. They are: hunting weapons (bows, arrows), paddles, clay vessels with geometrical ornamentation, used for storage of massato alcoholic beverage, transporting baskets, clothes and ornaments made of plumes.

Extraordinary results were obtained by cooperation of the Museum with ethnology students of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań – the organizers of AMPED’81 expedition. It enriched the Museum’s collection with objects presenting life of Panare people from Venezuela (266 exhibits) and a small group related to Kofan people of borderland between Colombia and Ecuador (23 exhibits). Even better results were gained by next ethnological expedition of the same team, entitled VENEZUELA’85. It brought 636 varied exhibits related to Hoti, Panare, Sanema and Ye’kuana peoples: tools, weapons (bows, arrows, blowguns), clay vessels, large group of woven transporting and storage baskets, cotton bands, hammocks, manioc (sebucan) and sugar cane press, ornaments made of plumes and seeds and many others.

The Museum has obtained its collections also from individuals. This way brought 25 exhibits from Peru (including Shipibo clay vessels), Ecuador and Bolivia, being part of Anna Kowalska-Lewicka’s collection, gathered by her in late 1940s and 144 exhibits collected in 1960s and 1970s by Borys Malkin, representing over 30 various native American groups, including Noanama, Tucuna, Sibundoy, Kofan, Yuco-Motilones.

In years 2000–2002 a group of objects from Guatemala were purchased. They are related to the life of Quiche, Cakchiquel, Tzutujil, Mam and Izil peoples. The collection of the department has been enriched by masks used during bull dances, conquistador masks and colorful costumes (mainly huipils).

At the turn of the 20th and the 21st centuries Ewa Prądzyńska, employed in the National Museum in Szczecin, conducted ethnological research in South America (Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil). On account of it the Museum obtained ca. 40 varied objects, the most distinctive of which are masks of Tucuna people from Brazil.

A separate part of the American collection are 69 pre-Columbian relics. They include clay vessels of Nazca, Chancay and Chimu cultures (Peru), parts of textiles (from Huaquerones and Pachacamac archaeological sites in Peru), clay statuettes (Azteca culture from Mexico), stone tools and arrowheads and jewelery (Tairona culture from Colombia and Tiahuanaco culture from Bolivia).