Divided into four zones, the First Peoples Hall is an imposing exhibition space that highlights the cultural, historical and artistic achievements of Canada's First Peoples. The Hall is 2,000 square metres in size and contains more than 2,000 artifacts. It allows visitors to appreciate various aspects of Native identity, from earliest origins to the present day, from traditional ways to current topics that are sometimes controversial. By displaying the remarkable history of Canada's Aboriginal peoples from sea to sea, the First Peoples Hall underlines their fight for cultural survival and highlights the wealth of their modern-day contributions.
A large Postclassic Nahua ceramic effigy censer preserved in the Princeton University Art Museum is an extraordinary representation of abstract human form, and because it was produced just prior to European incursion, the ritual purposes for which it was intended became the subject of intense scrutiny by Franciscan and Dominican friars. Remarkably, many of these practices continue to the present day, despite concerted efforts to eradicate them over the last five centuries, first by fervent evangelization and later by national health and education programs. These circumstances present an unparalleled study opportunity with respect to the interpretation of the function of the censer and by extension comparable forms of ancient Mexican art. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
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Bryan Just Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas Bryan R.