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Four ceramic bowls of the Sawos people of Papua New Guinea

Ceramic bowls of the Sawos people of Papua New Guinea.

Rare Bowls on Display

Cal State Fullerton Anthropology Teaching Museum Opens New Exhibit of Sawos People

April 8, 2008

By Mimi Ko Cruz

Students in Julie Perlin Lee's museum practicum class are putting the finishing touches on Cal State Fullerton Anthropology Teaching Museum's new exhibit, "Ceramics of Sustenance: Elaborate Vessels of the Sawos, Papua New Guinea," which opens April 15.

The objects on display, part of a Bowers Museum collection, have never been researched, said Lee, a lecturer of anthropology. "The students are in charge of all research and information, design and construction of the gallery, fundraising, catalog design and publication and educational components. The exhibition is the first to focus solely on the ceramic bowls of the Sawos people."

The rarely seen pottery originated in the Middle Sepik region. The exhibit focuses on the non-ceremonial yet, highly decorated utilitarian food bowls and explores the iconography, production, trade and social practices associated with the Sawos people, Lee said.

The exhibit will run through June 2, and is open for public view daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. The entrance to the museum is located in the anthropology department in Room 426 of McCarthy Hall. For more information, call 657-278-3626 or visit


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