The latest issue of the newsletter of the ICOM-CC Working Group on Ethnographic Collections features two articles highlighting research by a student and a faculty member of the UCLA/Getty Program.
The first article, written by 3rd year student Linda Lin, evaluates methods for characterizing native-processed gut materials used by Alaskan cultural groups using information obtained from ethnographic literature on gut manufacture and use, examining marine mammal geographic ranges, and looking for distinguishing morphological traits of intestinal material. Texts on mammalian biology and histology were also used to understand structural and morphological features of sea mammal intestines and determine whether differences could be identified between the gut materials of different marine mammals.
The second article discusses research conducted by Prof. Ellen Pearlstein, in collaboration with scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute, to study the fading behavior of selected feathers found in anthropological collections. The goal of the research is to create lighting display guidelines for anthropological featherwork. The formulation of these guidelines will take into account an accurate understanding of feather color chemistry, cultural use of the feathers including color selection and exposure through prior use, and accelerated fading with and without ultraviolet radiation.