Food and feasting

Food and Feasting

Food is central to our existence, providing a vital source of nutrition and energy.

It is also about much more than simply sustenance, since ingredients must be procured and transformed through chopping, peeling, mashing, soaking or cooking before they are eaten. Food both unites and defines us, often central to community understandings of what is distinctive of their own culture and identity.

Our collections reflect the different ways people from all over the world prepare, serve and think about food, and the important role played by food in both everyday eating and ceremonial feasting.

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Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: