The Department of Ethnography – IELTS Reading Answers
You should spend around 20 minutes on questions 1-12, which are based on the reading passage given below.
The Department of Ethnography
The answers to questions 1-12 are given below along with their explanations.
In paragraph 1, the author writes, “The Department of Ethnography was created as a separate department within the British Museum in 1946, after 140 years of gradual development from the original Department of Antiquities. It is concerned with the people of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific and parts of Europe.” Here, the lines clearly suggest that the collections contain works of people from the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. So, no preference is given to mainstream societies like the US and Europe. Hence, the answer is false.
|2||FALSE||In paragraph 1, the writer explains, “While this includes complex kingdoms, as in Africa, and ancient empires, such as those of the Americas, the primary focus of attention in the twentieth century has been on small-scale societies.” Here the primary focus of attention means to focus mainly on small-scale societies and not on modern societies. As the statement does not agree with the information given in the passage, the answer is false.|
|3||FALSE||In the first paragraph, the writer says “Through its collections, the Department’s specific interest is to document how objects are created and used, and to understand their importance and significance to those who produce them. Such objects can include both the extraordinary and the mundane (normal), the beautiful and the banal (common).” From this statement we can understand that the Department is interested in collecting artefacts of both extraordinary and common quality. Hence the answer is false.|
|4||NOT GIVEN||In the whole passage, there are two mentions of the Department of Ethnography. In the 1st paragraph, the author says that the Department of Ethnography was created as a separate department within the British Museum in 1946, after 140 years of gradual development from the original Department of Antiquities. Later, in the 2nd paragraph, it is said that the collections of the Department of Ethnography include approximately 300,000 artefacts, of which about half are the product of the present century. None of these references tells us about the textile collection of the Department of Ethnography. As a result, the answer is NOT GIVEN.|
|5||TRUE||In paragraph 4, it is given that “In fact, traditional practices (traditional societies) draw on a continuing wealth of technological ingenuity (highly inventive in terms of technology).” Therefore, the statement that traditional societies make incredible technological inventions agrees with the information in the passage and thus, the answer is true.|
|6||TRUE||In paragraph 5, the author says, “With the Independence of much of Asia and Africa after 1945, it was assumed (predicted) that economic progress would rapidly lead to the disappearance or assimilation of many small-scale societies. Therefore, it was felt that the Museum should acquire materials representing people whose art or material culture, ritual or political structures were on the point of irrevocable change. This attitude altered with the realisation that marginal communities can survive and adapt in spite of partial integration into a notoriously fickle world economy” Here ‘’‘altered’ refers to the fact that the prediction or prevalent idea about the disappearance of the small scale industries changed, and ‘adapt’ refers to the meaning that the marginal communities survived and adapted themselves to the economic progress despite limited acceptance into the ever changing economy. Hence the answer is true.|
|In paragraph 3, the author says that recent collecting carried out in the field was done by Museum staff working on general anthropological projects in collaboration with a wide variety of national governments and other institutions. The material thus collected includes great technical series like textiles from Bolivia, Guatemala, Indonesia and West Africa. Hence the answer is TS (Technical Series).|
|8||AT||In paragraph 3, the writer mentions that Museum staff working on general anthropological projects in collaboration with a wide variety of national governments and other institutions made some collections. The collections included ‘artefact types such as boats’ which are working examples of coracles from India. Hence the answer is AT (Artefact Types).|
|9||FA||In paragraph 3, the writer says that the field assemblages, from the Sudan, Madagascar and Yemen, include varieties of material culture representative of one people. These assemblages may cover the necessities of life of an African herdsman or on the Arabian farmer, ritual objects, or even airport art. Hence the answer is FA (Field Assemblages)|
|10||AT||In paragraph 3, the author mentions that the collections made by the staff of the Museum included ‘artefact types’ such as boats and include working examples of coracles from India, reed boars from Lake Titicaca in the Andes, ‘kayaks from the Arctic’, and dug-out canoes from several countries. Hence, the answer is AT (Artefact Types).|
|11||FA||In paragraph 3, the author writes that the ‘field assemblages’ from the Sudan, Madagascar and Yemen, include a whole range of material culture representative of one people. These assemblages might cover the ‘necessities of life of an Arabian farmer’. Hence, the answer is FA (Field assemblages)|
|12||SE||From paragraph 3, we come to know that sometimes a series of acquisitions might represent a decade’s fieldwork documenting ‘social experience’ as can be understood from the varieties of clothing and jewellery styles, ‘tents’ and camel trappings ‘from various Middle Eastern countries’, or in the developing preferences in personal adornment and dress from Papua New Guinea. Hence the answer is (SE) Social Experience.|
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