World Cultures is the name we give to traditional communities in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The collection numbers some 12,000 artefacts.
Many artefacts relate to these cultures and were acquired in the 19th century as souvenirs and gifts. Donors were individuals who served abroad as British soldiers, colonial administrators, traders, missionaries, explorers, travellers and private collectors.
RAMM’s donors were born in Exeter or in Devon. Other donors retired to the county later in life. These individuals connect the city and the county to the wider world.
The Curator of Ethnography is responsible for the care of these collections. Ethnography was a 19th century science designed to study human beings. It created scientific descriptions of the customs of peoples and cultures through comparative observations. It was a problematic and controversial subject. Today, museum ethnography is a branch of anthropology.
To explore the collection please see RAMM’s collections database.