trono de daome
21 May 2019

On children, snakes and ashes: other histories of the National Museum

LECTURE | 21 May 2019 | 15:00 - 16:30 | Nooterzaal 

Dr. Olivia Maria Gomes da Cunha is currently with us at the Research Center for Material Culture to, amongst other things, discuss the current situation at the Museu Nacional of Brasil following last year's devastating fire that destroyed much of the museum.

There are still a few seats left for this lecture. If you are interested in joining, please send an email to

Dr Cunha will explore the state of current attempts to not only assess what was lost, but also to explore what it might mean to rebuild the collections and the institution in the present. She will consider the museum’s relation to Brazil’s colonial and scientific past, and to contemporary national and global academic and heritage infrastructure.

Olivia Maria Gomes da Cunha is Associate Professor at the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology, Museu Nacional, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She was Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (1999-2000), John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow (2002), and had appointments as Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam (2017), Visiting-Professor at New York University (2006-2007), and Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2018). She has publications on post emancipation and social movements, archives and textual artefacts in Brazil, Cuba and the U.S. Her current research is about art, creativity, and materiality among the Cottica Ndyuka in Eastern Suriname. On her more recent publications, are an edited book entitled Maroon Cosmopolitics: personhood, creativity and incorporation (Leiden: Brill, 2018), and the forthcoming The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artifacts (Leiden: Brill).


Image: Trono de Daomé. Segundo catálogo do Museu Nacional, a peça foi doada pelos embaixadores do Rei Adandozan (1718-1818) ao Príncipe Regente D. João VI, em 1811, Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).