eine aus Holz geschnitzte Schale
© SKD, Foto: Oliver Killig
The Damascus Room is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Any other exhibitions of the Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden are closed.

The Power of Giving

When we hear the term „giving“, we usually associate it with a positive, happy, or surprising event, but not with power. What is the association between "the gift" or the act of “gift-giving” and power?

  • DATES 07/05/2011—21/08/2011


A unique exhibition project between the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC, Canada and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) in Dresden, Germany will examine this question extensively. Both institutions will exchange objects from their collections and present them in simultaneous exhibitions. The venues for the special exhibition “The Power of Giving” will be the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC, Canada and the Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, which is located in Dresden, Germany. The exhibition “The Power of Giving: Gifts in the Saxon Rulers’ Court in Dresden and the Kwakwaka’wakw Big House“ are on display from April 22nd in Alert Bay, B.C. Canada. In Dresden, the exhibition entitled “The Power of Giving: The Potlatch in the Kwakwaka’wakw Big House from the Canadian Northwest Coast” opened at May 7th.

eine bemalte Ahnenmaske aus Holz
© SKD, Foto: Oliver Killig
Maske - Imas. Ahnenmaske Die Sonderausstellung "Die Macht des Schenkens - Der Potlatch im Großen Haus der Kwakwaka'wakw an der kanadischen Nordwestküste" am 04.05.2011 im Lipsiusbau der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden

[Translate to English:] text2

Despite being thousands of miles away, both exhibitions will maintain a close dialogue. The German Federal Cultural Foundation has generously agreed to fund this project.

[Translate to English:] Film

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Die Macht des Schenkens - Eröffnung der Ausstellung in Dresden
Die Macht des Schenkens - Eröffnung der Ausstellung in Dresden

[Translate to English:] text3

A unique collection of stunning masks, vessels, and regalia from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations of Canada’s Northwest Coast will be sent from Alert Bay, BC, to Dresden. Some of the approximately 50 artifacts are up to 300 years old. This will be the first time the majority of the masks will be collectively on display outside Canada. These remarkable objects are used in the ritual dances and rites of the Potlatch, a traditional ceremony marking political, economic, spiritual, and social matters for individuals, family units, and communities. The reason for holding a Potlatch could be, for instance, the birth of an oldest son. A central aspect of the Potlatch is the role of the gift. The giving of gifts honours guests for witnessing the events and transactions of the Potlatch, and, therefore validates a family’s claims.

eine bemalte Maske aus Holz
© U'mista, Foto: Sharon Grainger
Mond Maske

[Translate to English:] Katalog

Die Publikation zur Sonderausstellung

Die Macht des Schenkens / The Power of Giving

Ausstellungsprojekt zwischen dem U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Kanada, und den Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (34,90 €, ISBN 978-3-422-07060-8)

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions
29.01.2016 —08.05.2016

GRASSI Invites #1: Fremd

im GRASSI Museum Leipzig

Blick in die Ausstellung "fremd"

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

im Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Buddha in einem Schrein

Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden

im Japanischen Palais

reich verzierte Holztür mit Fenster
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