Asian ➔ Basket, Giant Grain Storage
This is a rice threshing basket from Southeast Asia, most likely Thailand. Rice is one of the most common and important crops in Southeast Asia, and rice paddies are abundant in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. When harvesting rice, the actual rice grains must be separated – or threshed – from the rest of the plant. Throughout rice-producing countries, rice threshing techniques vary, but the process usually entails grabbing the plant by the stalk and hitting it against an object to make the grains fall out. Some rice farmers prefer to trample the plants underfoot, some thresh the rice onto like tarp-like cloths called threshing floors, and some thresh into baskets like this one. Threshing using these types of baskets takes place, especially in Thailand. Farmers hit the plants against the sides of the basket and the grains fall into the bottom. The rice is then separated from any other items that may have fallen into the basket. Then, since rice is farmed on very wet ground, the grains need to be spread out in the sun to dry before being stored. Nowadays many farmers use machines to thresh their rice harvest, but manual threshing is still common on many farms. Rice-farming in Thailand takes place mostly in the northern regions of the country. Thailand is one of the top global producers and exporters of rice. Many Thai people eat rice during all three meals per day! Not surprisingly, rice, therefore, plays a huge role in Thai life, culture, art, and even religion. This particular basket was displayed for a number of years at Klingman’s Furniture Store in Grand Rapids. Klingman’s was founded in 1896 and has enjoyed a long tenure of service to West Michigan. The store was located downtown until it moved to the suburbs in the 1970s. The company currently has two stores in Grand Rapids and one in Holland. How they acquired the basket is still a mystery. Credit: Devin Schweigert, 12/5/2016.
Current Location Status:
(November 12 2011 – February 29 2012)BIG STUFF from the Permanent Collection
An inspired selection of favorites chosen by the Museum Staff
For more than 150 years, the Public Museum has been collecting STUFF. We’re the keepers of important “one for the record books” stuff; quirky “what were they thinking” stuff; fragile “from a bygone era” stuff; patent-related “don’t forget whose stuff this is” stuff; small to the point of being overlooked stuff; and BIG “how did you get that through the door” stuff. In short, we keep track of history through the physical objects our society has amassed along the way.
But stuff requires more storage space than anyone cares to think about. As a result, a mere 10% of the Museum’s collection is on display here at any given time. This is our attempt to correct that. We’ve pulled back the dust covers, opened the drawers and invited Museum staff members into the archives to vote on their favorites in one category - BIG STUFF. Conjure up all the adjectives you can come up with to replace BIG, then have a look inside!Artifact GR
(2012 – 2013)Artifact GR was a project which invited members of the community into the archives of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and asked them to write about their experiences. The resulting submissions were cataloged in an interactive website (www.artifactgr.org) and in a published book (http://www.blurb.com/b/4400444-the-artifact-projectsoftcover).