World Cultures is the name we give to traditional communities in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The collection is 12,000 artefacts in number.
Many artefacts relate to these cultures and were acquired in the 19th century as souvenirs and gifts. Donors include 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. However, some retired to the county and presented their collections after relocating here. Through their actions and collecting activities, our donors connect the city and the county to the wider world.
The Curator of Ethnography is responsible for the care of these collections. Ethnography was developed in the 19th century as a 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 this collection further please check out RAMM’s collections database.