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Curious-Case-of-the-Non-Trabuco-Gun1Gun, date unknown
Maker and origin unknown
Wood and steel; 33.5 in. 30922d
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Church
An interesting antique firearm in the collection of the Bowers Museum once on display as part of the former permanent Spanish Exploration exhibition (1992-2006) was recently investigated by Bowers' research team. The museum's records show that the gun was found in the Trabuco Canyon area where the 1769 Spanish Exploration team led by Gaspar de Portola was rumored to have lost one of their guns.

Doorboard (Amitung), 20th Century
Telefol people; Telefomin village, Star Mountains, Sandaun (West Sepik) Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia
Wood and paint; 109 ½ x 33 ½ x 1 1/8 in.
Bowers Museum General Acquisition Fund Purchase

The Telefomin are one of several related highland peoples known as the "Min" or "Mountain Ok" who live in the Star Mountains, located at the source of the Sepik River in Sanduan Province, Papua New Guinea. They derive their name from Telefolip Village, their ancestral home and cultural center. As with other Mountain Ok people, the Telefomin have separate housing for men, women, and children.

Burden Basket, late 19th - early 20th century
Western Apache people; Arizona
Willow, devil's claw, buckskin fringe and cloth; 12 x 16 1/4 x 18 3/4 in.
Gift of Mr. Lawrence Gale

The conical burden basket of the Western Apache seen at the Bowers Museum is uniquely a woman's accessory. The basket woven from willow branches and adorned with devil's claw decoration was ideally constructed for the nomadic life of the Apache people. The baskets were made to be sturdy and strong for the transportation and storage of such things as food, wood and even babies. The basket can be made into varying sizes. The Bowers' example is 12x16 ¼ x18 inches.

The-Coffered-Ceiling-at-the-Bowers-Museum1Next time you are in the California Legacies: Missions and Ranchos Gallery, look up! Although the suggestion sounds silly, the museum holding that attracts many questions from visitors is the gallery's coffered ceiling. While it is not an object from the museum's collection that tells a story of a time long past, it is a piece of the museum itself with its own history to share.

Carved Ear Ornament, late 19th – early 20th Century
Dayak culture; Borneo, Indonesia
Hornbill; 1 7/8 x 3 3/4 in
Don and Barbara Greek Fund Purchase

Indonesia is truly a melting pot due to its history as a crucial trade route connecting the Far East, the Middle East and beyond. Because of its unique history, the Indonesian culture is a synthesis of indigenous customs that contains elements from Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. The Dayak people of Borneo are the most well know group in the outer islands due much to their headhunting past. Dayak is a loose term describing numerous ethnic groups that have their own dialects, customs, laws, territories and cultures, but that share similar distinguishing traits.

Male Headdress Masks (Sisiu), 20th Century
Sulka people; East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia
Wood, fiber, tonga leaves and natural pigment; 31 1/2 x 31 x 23 1/2 in.
Bowers Museum General Acquisition Fund Purchase

The Sulka are a people who live on the southern shore of Wide Bay, which is in East New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea.Although the Sulka have been Christians for decades, they still hold on to many of their traditional beliefs and practices.The Sulka are most widely known for their distinctive dance masks, which portray spirits and are performed with at special ceremonies.

Untitled (Aftermath of Orange County Earthquake, 1933)
Unknown photographer; Orange County, California
Photograph; 2 7/8 x 4 1/2 in.
Gift of Mrs. Donna Grauer

As So Cal natives we all experience unremarkable earthquakes on a regular basis. They are a normal part of our lives, and as a result they have become more of an exciting curiosity rather than a dangerous threat to us. However, just within the past century there have been several earthquakes that caused large amounts of damage and took many lives. Eighty years ago, one of the most memorable earthquakes in Southern California ripped through parts of the Los Angeles and Orange Counties. This March 10, 2013 marks the earthquake's anniversary and an opportunity to commemorate a piece of local history as well as the lives lost in the tragic event.