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In MOA’s Drawers: Wall Hanging

MOA’s Multiversity Galleries bring over 9,000 objects from around the world to public view. In most museums, collections of this magnitude are stored behind-the-scenes—so how exactly does MOA display so many objects within 14,500 square feet?

Stacked beneath an arrangement of towering glass display cases are a series of specially designed, state-of-the-art drawers. With a gentle tug on the long metal handles the drawers roll open, revealing cultural belongings from past and present to explore.

While the Multiversity Galleries’ drawers are designed to display thousands of objects, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to see them all in one visit. If you’re not sure where to begin in exploring the myriad of objects on display, try finding this playful wall hanging.

Wall Hanging, made by Thith-Hak-Key, Johnny Stelkia

MOA collection: 2951/2. Photo by Kyla Bailey.

Deer, turtles and bears, oh my! Painted on hide, this whimsical wall hanging was made by a boy of the Osoyoos Band who attended the Inkameep Day School on the Nik’Mip Reserve. The painting depicts an outdoor dance scene with animals local to the Okanagan region personified in traditional clothing. Between 1932–42, the students’ teacher, Anthony Walsh, encouraged his class to learn and present stories that honoured their traditional language and culture—an approach that contrasted the practices of most Indian Residential Schools.

Find me: Case 031, Drawer 1