The Art of the Ainu

July 14 – August 16, 2001

Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery

An exhibition featuring art and craft works of the Ainu people of Japan and will include a selection of musical instruments, textiles and jewellery. The Ainu culture is believed to be one of the oldest and perhaps the original culture group living on the islands before people began migrating there from China and Korea. Over the past century the Ainu have struggled vehemently to resist assimilation into Japanese society and to maintain their own culture and traditions.

Twelve Ainu artists have recently come to Canada to participate in this year’s¬†Tribal Journey¬†project with the Kwaguilth and Esquimalt Nations. Together they are carving two 50-foot traditional canoes. The canoe carving represents the restoration of Aniu culture as well as a keeping with the tradition and the strengthening of an identity.