Category: Substances of Wellbeing and Intoxication

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A Bag of Coca for the Afterlife

MAA looks after several objects related to coca such as funerary bags and ceramics representing people chewing coca leaves. Celine Erauw takes a closer look at one of these objects.

Celine Erauw

18 June 2024

Benares or Bengal? Durga or Parvati? Paan Daan or a Trophy Necklace?

Two brass boxes at MAA with minimal information in the catalogue records raise many questions. What are they? Where are they from – Benares of Bengal? And who do they depict?

Aayushi Gupta

30 April 2024

A Tale of Tea and Shape Shifting

Badger, racoon, teapot or something in between? A story of transformations, good fortune, prosperity, and abundance connects three objects from Japan in the collections at MAA.

Mark Elliott

16 April 2024

The Qianlong Emperor and a Yellow Teacup

In the Tibet case in the ground floor gallery of MAA is a small yellow teacup, more Chinese than it is Tibetan. At one point in time, and in a certain place, it could have been very dangerous to drink from.

John Donegan-Cross

12 March 2024


MAA 的所有茶砖中,只有一块刻有龙的图案。在这种背景下,这个重要的中国符号有哪些多重含义?它与茶砖有何关系?

Jiang Hanzhang and Liu Xiaochen

20 February 2024

Displaced Peoples, Displaced Things: Of Arrows, Bananas, Forests and Tea Plantations

Three bows and arrows from Northeast India tell a tangled tale of tea, indentured labour, migration, botany, and the exclusion of Indigenous Peoples from state-managed forest reserves. 

Mark Elliott

30 January 2024



Jiang Hanzhang and Liu Xiaochen

23 January 2024

Feeling at home and the “psychosomatics of arecaidinism”

A large selection of objects at MAA relate to the practice of betel nut chewing. Ayesha Fuentes explores these objects through her own experiences of engaging in this practice.

Ayesha Fuentes

26 December 2023

Water and Starlight: Finding the Zodiac Beaker

A dark bronze beaker in one of MAA's galleries has remained hidden in plain sight. Recently, however, Mark Elliott revisited this object, revealing new connections and questions in the process.

Mark Elliott

14 November 2023

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