A collection of Maya clothes

Colour photograph of a red and blue huipil (or blouse) laid flat made by Maya weavers

In April 2023, RAMM commissioned a film about the colourful clothing made by Indigenous Maya weavers. Three women from the town of Santa Catarina Palopó talk about the importance of preserving their weaving practices, their heritage and their identity. The film reflects a Guatemala connection of traditional Maya clothing within the museum’s ethnographic collection. Examples of these clothes can be seen by visitors in the new World Cultures displays. The Ancestral Voices project was supported by the Designation Development Fund, Arts Council England.

Traditional Kyrgyz huts or yurts in Iran, which are now seen at music festivals, or in glamping sites in Britain. © Gordon Clarke, Institute of Nomadic Architecture

Guest blog by Will Silcox of the University of Exeter . Appropriation or appreciation? Why commodifying other cultures is problematic.

A Baka man seated by a campfire

In the upcoming Nomads: Homes on the Move exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), people are invited to explore alternative ways of living from around the world. While appreciating these lifeways, we also aim to illustrate how they are under threat by Western colonial conservation projects.

Page one of letter from Exeter police to RAMM.

Within the Museum’s historic archive there exists a letter from the Exeter City Police dated 1st December 1912. Written by the city’s Chief Constable, the letter lists a number of artefacts that were stolen from the gallery. Many of these items were never recovered, and the thief wasn’t caught.

New display case in the World Cultures gallery. It is empty in this photograph.

Last year in 2017, RAMM successfully received a grant of £190,000 from DCMS Wolfson to make physical improvements to the World Cultures gallery. This scheme is to be completed by April this year and includes the installation of a ventilation system, track lighting and three new display cases.