Travel the World Big Saturday: Guest Blog by Sajia Sultana

Travel the World Big Saturday was held on Saturday 2nd of August between 11am and 4pm. The day involved families travelling back in time and across the globe. Families enjoyed world music performances, met curators and saw objects from the museum’s collections and created musical shakers.

Here are the various music performances which were held during the day. Upon arrival families enjoyed Chinese music performances on traditional instruments, the Erhu and the Guzheng. This was performed by Henry Fung and Mei Mei Wu.

1Families then enjoyed African Storytelling with Chanje Kunda from Zambia. The stories included fables which illustrated to the children how to stay safe. The children also played with African toys and fabrics.


Our journey continued to Northern India with Kanchan Maradan who performed the Kathak dance. The word Kathak is derived from ‘Katha’ meaning the ‘the art of storytelling’.


In the afternoon families travelled to Iran with Arian Sadr to enjoy Iranian Frame Drumming.


At the end of the journey families had a chance to participate in the traditional Chinese Fan Dance (which resembles a field of butterflies) with Mei-Mei Wu.



You can see some of the performances in the film below:

Children and adults were asked to describe their day at Manchester Museum in one word. Here are their comments:

‘Splendid’ ‘Amazing’ ’Interactive’ ‘Interesting’ ‘Educational’ ’Extraordinary’ Excellent’ ’Brilliant’ ‘Illuminating’ ’Exciting’ ‘Fascinating’ ‘Inspiring’ ’Great’

Visit the following link to find out more about Big Saturday:

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Sajia Sultana is a Summer Public Programmes Intern at Manchester Museum and a University of Manchester student.

From Alaska to Aunty

The BBC have recently uploaded a fascinating episode of the popular material culture series Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? filmed at Manchester Museum in 1954.

A panel of experts, including the unmistakable archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler (1890 – 1976), are shown debating the function and origin of seemingly unfamiliar objects. Pooling their collective intellect they attempt to identify a selection of objects from Manchester Museum’s collection. First to be scrutinised is a Yup’ik finger mask from Alaska in the Living Cultures collection, which is described as resembling a 1950s microphone. The round face within a surrounding circle which prompts this comparison is a device used by the Yup’ik to represent the cosmos.


Yup’ik finger mask. Wood. Alaska, USA. Manchester Museum Living Cultures collection.

Yup’ik women use these masks, which can represent a variety of spirits or mythical creatures, during dances to further articulate the all important hand movements. The following film shows just how important hand movements are in traditional Yup’ik dance.