Oklahoma's number one blog for natural and cultural history.


Feast Your Eyes

For some, culture is an acquired taste – but not when it comes to food! TIME and National Geographic photographer Peter Menzel and his wife, Faith D’Alusio, have prepared a sampler plate of world culture with their photographic exhibit Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. The best part? We’ve saved you a seat!

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

The Hungry Planet exhibit, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stop & Country Stores, follows the lives of ten families as they produce, shop for and prepare food over the course of one week. We’re talking American fast food, Mali open kitchens and everything in between – a taste of culture for visitors of all ages. 

Chinese Street Stall

The 40 deliciously intriguing photos, from Menzel and D’Alusio’s award-winning book, show the sharp contrasts and universal aspects of this essential human pursuit. Even if photography isn’t your cup of tea, Hungry Planet takes the cake with several surprising revelations about global food preparation and consumption.

Vegetable Market in India

 So eat your heart out! Hungry Planet will be at the Sam Noble Museum from May 3 until August 31. But, if you’re looking to whet your appetite beforehand, join us for an opening reception on Friday, May 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.! The public opening will include food tastings from these savory local vendors: 


     Caesar’s Catering

→     Sooner Legends



     Abbey Road Catering

     Simply Falafel

 You might have a lot on your plate, but this is one (mouth-watering) exhibit you won’t want to miss. So join us on May 2 for the public opening, and sink your teeth into world culture.

Around the World in Eight Photos

Jules Verne captured adventurous readers through his novel Around the World in 80 Days. Well, today we’re circumnavigating the globe in just eight pictures! So pack your bags because for the next few minutes, we’re going off the grid.




As the warrior scholars of Feudal Japan, Samurais had quite extensive weaponry: elaborate armor, menacing masks and fanciful swords, such as the one shown above from 1800 CE. For more information about Samurai culture and artifacts, be sure to check out the ethnology collection’s blog.



This ceramic drinking vessel hails from the Nazca culture of coastal Peru and dates to around AD 200-800.  The artwork depicts a sacrificial scene, indicating that the item may have been used for sacrificial rites.

New Guinea



Kundu drums are a staple of the Sepik region in New Guinea and are used at nearly every ceremony, feast, ritual and community event. Drum makers whittle at hollow tree trunks to achieve the hourglass shape, then stretch lizard or snakeskin across the top opening.



The Acheulean hand axe was in use for over one million years and is considered by some to be the “Swiss army knife” of the Stone Age. Likely used for cutting and butchering, this hand tool from Troche, Dordogne in France could date back to the lower Paleolithic period 1.8 million years 




This white painted ware jug is of Cypro-Archiac origins and was likely produced around 600 BCE. Although little information is available about the jug’s use, ethnologists can use physical features to speculate about its history. “Typically, the more decorated a piece is, the higher it is in status,” said ethnology collection manager Stephanie Allen.



During the Classic Period, AD 200-800, this incense burner from Guatemala would have likely been used by the Maya to send prayers and offerings to the deities. The burner features an individual wearing a helmet or headdress possibly an ancestor or deity.




Made entirely of lion’s hair and hide, this Ethiopian headdress is likely from the early to mid-1900s. Because ethnologists are uncertain about the artifact’s tribal origins, very little is known about this piece. Regardless, this unique treasure remains a museum favorite.



Discovered in the famous Altamira Cave in Spain, this bone awl would have been used to puncture holes in animal hide for tailoring and manufacturing. The ability to alter clothing enabled those living 50,000 to 10,000 years ago to battle the brutal climate of glacial Europe.

That completes our trip around the world, highlighting artifacts from the ethnology and archaeology departments at the Sam Noble Museum. These departments house extraordinary collections, especially from Native North and Central America. Additional stories about artifacts such as these can be found on the Archaeology and the Ethnology blogs.  

The Sam Noble Museum hopes to incorporate a permanent display for artifacts such as these in the coming years. Until then, feel free to view the ethnology department’s online catalog.

For more international adventures, be sure to visit our latest exhibit, The Art of Sport + Playa display of international balls, created with unique materials from around the world.