Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Ottawa Museums

Since the weather turned nasty soon after we arrived in the Ottawa area it was a perfect time to visit Museums.  We toured both the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization - both very excellent and very well done.

Pictures were not permitted in the war museum - likely for reasons of security or the sensitive nature of the displays.  They had a special gallery depicting the advances in medicine and medical care on the battlefield.  We especially found this interesting and in a mere 100 years we've come a long way!  Out of a population of 11 Million people in 1914, Canada sent 1 M (10% of our population at the time!) men to battle of whom (I think it said) close to 1/3 to 1/2 were seriously wounded and/or killed.  That is huge!

The war museum captured all the battles (starting in the 1500's to present day), skirmishes, world wars, other wars where Canadians served (Boer and Korean), the cold war and the various peace keeping missions over the years - very comprehensive.  It kind of tied together a lot of what we had already learned through visiting the various National Historic Sites across the country - it kind of tied it all together.  We spent 4 hours at the Museum and could have easily gone back for another 4 hours if not a full day - you just can't take it all in in one visit.  As much as she would have liked - SS did not read everything in detail much to Barrys relief!

First Nations - Cowichan Sweater

An example of West Coast First Nations Totem Poles outside the gallery depicting their culture and traditions

An example of an archeological find of a Totem Pole on the West coast.

Depicting a West coast archeological 'dig'.

Exotic First Nations bead work on a piece of clothing

Louis Riel (background picture) and a rawhide jacket he wore apparently

More First Nations arts & crafts - wee fur jacket in the background is rabbit fur.

First Nations sculpture explaining their version and understanding of 'good vs. evil'.  Woman is giving birth to twin boys - the twin under her arm is the 'evil twin' and the natural birth is the 'good twin'.

Depicting the arrival of the Vikings a 1000 years ago.  Earlier we visited the site of their landing in L'Anxe Meadows in Nfl.

Depicting the hold of a ship in the 16th or 17th century - cod fishing, whaling, and shipments of furs - all products in high demand in Europe at the time.

An Acadian Dyke - we also viewed this history at Grand Pre in NS

The demand for furs and pelts in Europe during the early years of exploring and settling Canada

Depicting the Red River Cart - Canadian settlement is moving West


A display depicted the contribution of Chinese Immigrants to the growth and development of Canada - in the early years many worked in laundries across the land.  Here is an example of an elaborate 'sewing basket' in use at the time.

An excellent display of products from Medalta Potteries - all the more interesting because we actually toured the refurbished property in Medicine Hat a few years ago!

Another gallery called 'Face to Face' featured people who have significantly influenced the growth and culture of Canada over the years.   John A definitely was a colorful character.  Some of the others included Nellie McLung, Jeanne Sauve. McKenzie King, Tommy Douglas etc etc.

Had to include a picture of PET as one of  our colorful characters of influence.  They had many video streams rolling of his many interviews and comments on 'issues' over the years.  Needless to say we are feeling old now - as we remember watching those newscasts during those years!

Canadian Museum of Civilization (in Hull Quebec)
The Museum of Civilization captured the social and human history of Canada over the same span of years as the war museum with the exception of the Aboriginal and First Nations gallery which went as far back as 5,000 to 10,000 years!  Pictures were permitted in this museum of which we'll share a few. 

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